COLUMBIA, Mo 6/22/17 (Beat Byte) -- When in 2015 a Federal Court in Ohio ruled that state's residential rental inspection laws unconstitutional, the Justices repeated:
“The physical entry of the home is the chief evil against which the wording of the Fourth Amendment is directed.”
Yet, Columbia rental inspectors enter homes virtually every day of the year, without warrants; without renter consent; and with the city's urging that property managers and owners sign away their 4th Amendment rights for rental permits.
Inspectors are permitted -- and may even be obligated -- to turn over relevant findings to law enforcement, making these rental inspections police searches by proxy.
Still, property owners and renters are fighting back against this government overreach, which in Columbia comes with a half dozen fees up 70-370% in just 5 years. A challenge to Columbia's rental inspection law may be in the offing, and may include class action damages for all rental inspections performed without judicially-approved search warrants since the law was passed in 1978.
Here's a look at rental inspection challenges across the U.S.
1) PORTSMOUTH, OH. The Southern District of Ohio in 2015 ruled that the City of Portsmouth’s occupational licensing requirements imposed upon landlords – – rental property inspections and licensing fees – – violates the Fourth Amendmentto the United State Constitution.
The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law’s victory on behalf of Portsmouth rental property owners Ron Baker, Nancy Ross, Thomas Howard, and Darren Oliver means that indiscriminate and warrantless government inspections of rental properties are unconstitutional nationwide, and that unlawfully-extracted “rental inspection fees” must be returned to the rental property owners who paid them.STORY HERE:
STORY HERE (be sure to read Explore Case in Depth):
As in Columbia, “instead of simply responding where there have been complaints about code violations, Highland adopted the goal of aggressively inspecting all 4,800 rentals within city limits, whether or not there have been complaints."
7) FEDERAL HEIGHTS, COLORADO: Huge uproar over rental inspection program that forced resignation of rental home inspector and Council member recall petitions.
CoMo RENTAL SEARCH WARRANT
ABOUT CoMo RENTAL SEARCH WARRANTS