PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The capital city is mulling whether to create a first-of-its-kind registry for occupied and vacant rental units.
The proposal was brought before the Providence City Council Thursday night by President Rachel Miller and Councilman Miguel Sanchez.
The goal of the registry would be to help address longstanding health and safety issues, identify units that aren’t up to code, educate tenants and landlords on code compliance and connect homeowners with lead remediation services.
The registry would include single and multi-family homes, as well as condos, townhouses and leasehold cooperative units.
The proposal calls for the creation of a proactive inspection program and transparent online database by January 2025.
“A rental registry is a tool for transparency, accountability and safety throughout the city’s aging housing stock,” Miller explained. “A registry empowers tenants with information and ensures landlords do their due diligence to keep residents safe.”
If approved, the initial registration period would begin on Sept. 2, 2024 and run through Oct. 31, 2024. The rental registration would be valid for one year, meaning landlords would be required to register their properties again in subsequent years.
The proposal states landlords wouldn’t be charged for the initial registration, but would be required to pay a fee ranging from $30 to $500 annually per property.
The Providence City Council voted to send the proposal to the Committee on Ordinances for further review.