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The ever increasing influence of government is typified by the proposed license/inspection of rental units. My experience suggests that the fees will have a minor impact when compared with the compliance costs. When inspections reveal violations to building statutes, the city will be obligated to ensure conformity to protect itself from lawsuits.

I own a typical older property in Salt Lake City that for the past eight years has been occupied by a 77-year-old disabled tenant. City officials, under pressure to eliminate problems caused by transients the renter befriended, arranged for an inspection of her unit by an officer of the Department of Community and Economic Development.The inspection produced a lengthy list of violations of the Uniform Housing Code and Salt Lake City ordinances. I would like to contend that there are very few, if any, older units that are not in violation of a similar list of building statues. Nevertheless, I was given 15 days to retain a licensed contractor and secure a permit and an additional 15 days to correct all the violations. A fine of $50 per day would have been levied if I had allowed debris to remain in the yard.

Indirectly, the city forced me to evict my 77-year-old tenant. Because she did not have the financial or family resources to assist her, I ended up relocating her at a personal cost of more than $2,000. In spite of my petitions to the city, I received no support or assistance in this relocation effort.

I have attempted to bring the unit (built in 1908) into compliance with the onerous 1996 code requirements mandated by the city.

I am still pointing up the brick, caulking the exterior joints and preparing to paint in an attempt to satisfy the demands of our Orwellian government. I was informed, during a recent inspection, that my efforts to improve the passageway to the upstairs, which has been used by occupants for nearly 100 years, will not satisfy current city requirements. I must somehow gain a few more inches of head clearance before approval will be considered. The now inevitable failure to do so will result in a "Certificate of Non-Compliance" being filed with the County Recorder, a seemingly punitive measure, to ensure that no one will purchase my property.

For 19 years, at substantial personal expense, I have attempted to comply with government mandates pertaining to my rental property. Nevertheless, I have frequently been treated with scorn and indifference by those who govern. I resent the extraordinary and discriminatory intrusion of government into my personal business. I resent the ability of government to single out and potentially bankrupt an investor. I further resent its encroachment into nearly every aspect of my life. Any additional inspection authority given to our government officials will result in an ever-increasing financial burden that must and inevitably will be borne by each of us. The City Council should reject this proposal.

Richard Ross