Rapid City setting new standard for substandard - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City setting new standard for substandard homes

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A new ordinance to try and help clean up some of Rapid City's most unsafe and unattractive homes has many landlords up in arms.  

Last winter, Rapid City adopted the International Building Code to create a standard for landlords to follow, which primarily focuses on proper upkeep and safety for their tenants.

"What we don't believe in from a public safety stand point is having such dilapidated and rundown house," said LT. John Olsen of the Rapid City Police Department. "That people are in danger of living there."  

Dozens of houses in Rapid City fail to pass an international building code. If landlords fail to abide by the new ordinance, the city can demolish the home and put the owners behind bars.

"I've had guys gone up and arresting people on warrants because they were cited for these code violations," said Olsen. "Didn't follow through and ended up in jail."

Law enforcement officials say there are plenty of opportunities for landlords to bring their homes up to code, but many squander it. 

"People will sit there and stall and stall and keep pushing that timeline further and further back," said Olsen. "And we know that they're not doing anything with the property, because we've been there again."  

Because some of these landlords stall, their tenants are often left in the same nasty living conditions. 

"I do believe that people who are renting these places that are substandard are being taken advantage of," said Olsen.

"All they have to do is log a complaint, give us the information to City Hall," said Councilman Richie Nordstrom. "And we'll start the process down there."

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518 St. Joseph St.
Rapid City, SD 57701

Telephone: 605.342.2000
Fax: 605.342.7305

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