ROY -- Roy has joined several other cities in the Top of Utah in instituting a Good Landlord program. The city council unanimously approved the program, which is effective immediately.
Landlords participating in the program will pay minimal business license fees, while those who elect not to participate will see a significant increase in disproportionate services fees. Those participating in the program will not pay a base business license fee and will only be required to pay $8.50 per unit in disproportionate fees.
Those who don't participate in the program will pay a $145 base fee. Landlords of a building with three or more units will pay $33 per unit; those owning a duplex will pay $36 per unit; and those owning a single family dwelling, such as a house or condo, will pay $62. All fees are an annual amount.
Disproportionate fees include fees residences incur from calls to police and fire departments and other basic city fees. Those fees are often paid by cities through taxes and now those fees will be passed on to landlords.
The change is effective immediately because business licenses must be renewed in January and notices are going out this week, said City Councilman Larry Peterson.
The program has been a long time coming, with the council taking work sessions and regular meetings since spring to hash out the details.
"We set goals last spring as to how we wanted to have this set up," said City Councilman Brad Hilton.
The city became aware of the need for the program when Ogden established its program a few years ago, Peterson said.
An outside firm conducted a study to advise the city on how to set the disproportionate fee schedules. The city elected to have no fee for those participating in the program because a small fee is charged to take the series of Good Landlord course.
The city will not run the program, but landlords will be given a schedule of classes taught by the Utah Apartment Owner's Association. Peterson said the classes are taught throughout the Top of Utah with courses starting as soon as this month in Layton.
Landlords have a six-month window to complete the Good Landlord training so they can renew a business license and say they will be taking the class, but must provide documentation within six months proving the class has been taken, Peterson said.
Both Peterson and Hilton feel the program will go a long way toward the city's goal of cleaning up the city. They are also happy to give landlords a price break to get some education on how to be a good landlord.
Peterson said he has been asked if the program encroaches on private property rights and he said he is sure it does not.
"They have a choice and we are also giving them an opportunity to improve their property," he said.
Those taking the Good Landlord course will learn what types of things to look for with tenants regarding signs of drug use and undesirable care of a property and how to handle problems that crop up. Landlords will also learn what legal rights they have to evict tenants in a quick manner if there are problems. Part of the program also requires background checks of tenants to avoid renting to those with criminal records.