Charlotte Property Owners Could Face Stiffer Penalties Under Possible Changes to Minimum Housing Code

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Landlords in Charlotte could soon face stiffer penalties for not keeping their properties up to code.

City Council is considering updates to the city’s Minimum Housing Code.

It’s in response to anger over poor conditions at a West Charlotte apartment complex.

Council member Braxton Winston says it’s a good first step. The change would increase fines to $100 a day, beginning the day after a property owner is found to be in violation.

It would also raise the standard for upkeep for plumbing, air conditioning, and structural features like walls and ceilings.

But some argue it’s potentially punishing the wrong people.

“The majority of the apartment managers in Charlotte are respectful business people doing a great job for the community and the residents,” says Peter Kelly with Equitable Communities Charlotte.

Kelly thinks the penalty should be focused on consistently bad landlords.

“We don’t think the process has been evaluated and improved upon to identify repeat offenders,” Kelly says.

Council member Winston wants Council’s Neighborhood Development Committee to continue discussing the issue, even after possible changes go into effect.

“I think we need to create carrots and sticks that incentivizes good behavior from property owners,” Winston says.