Springfield's rental registration program is off to a good start

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Thousands of complaints are filed with the city of Springfield each year for code violations on rental properties.

In order to get the repairs made, the city needs to know who is responsible for those properties.

The rental registration program is helping them do just that.

"In 2017 we had 7587 complaints," said Sherry Jacobson with Building Development Services for Springfield.

Every one of those complaints comes across her desk.

"It could be anybody in the community calling in. These are today's mailings," she said.

Those complaints don't include the ones that are submitted online or called in. Jacobson has to often search the Greene County Collector's and Missouri Secretary of State's websites to find out who is responsible for maintaining rental properties in Springfield.

"Almost on a daily basis, that information is coming back as undeliverable because the data's not current," said Jacobson.

If she's lucky she gets the information she needs to get the ball rolling on getting repairs made.

To streamline the process, the city started a program in January that requires rental properties to be registered.

"We're happy to see that we have a local registered agent required now with our rental property registration. We can pick up the phone and give them a call."

In just about two weeks, more than 800 properties have been registered. The free program is designed to hold landlords accountable for basic repairs.

"I think this is a step in the right direction that the city is taking to ensure that they're going to have safe housing, clean housing that is up to code. We all want to work together to make this community better," said Jacobson.

If you want to know if a property you are renting has been registered you can call the city. However there is a grace period. Property owners have until the end of November to register their rentals.