City officials in Brunswick, Ohio, are proposing a controversial new rule that would require all adult renters to have their own bedrooms, unless they’re related.
Local realtors say they are concerned the law will infringe upon renter’s civil and private property rights, and spoke out against the proposal at city council meetings. There, they drafted a 12-page document that argues against the proposal.
“This is the door to open up saying, ‘We don’t like the way you live, your nationality, your color, whatever it might be.’ This is Pandora’s box that is being opened up,” said real estate pro Rick Stallard, the legislative chairman of the Medina County Board of Realtors. Stallard said that the law would make it illegal for an unmarried couple to rent a one-bedroom home, and that the only way around the requirement would be to undergo an appeals process with the city.
Brunswick city official’s argument in favor of the law seems weak at best. They say that because other municipalities in northeast Ohio already have similar rules in place, Brunswick should have them too. They add that the proposal will help to protect properties and tenants’ safety.
“The goal here is not to create difficulties for people,” says Santo Incorvaia, assistant law director for the city of Brunswick. “The goal here is to prevent a situation where we have eight, nine, 10 adults living in a two-bedroom house. We want the properties to be maintained. We want the properties to be safe. That is what this is all about: The health, safety, and welfare of the people who live in Brunswick.”
The proposed rule also requires landlords to pay to register with the city, and secure an inspection every two years. Officials plan to hold public town hall sessions on the proposal in January prior to a final vote.