Lexington Community and Resident Services had a housing forum last week on landlord-tenant rights and services. I’m sharing notes from the meeting for your information. The notes are very informal as you will see below.
Walt Gaffield, President
Fayette County Neighborhood Council, Inc.
HOUSING FORUM –TENANT/LANDLORD RIGHTS
Community and Resident Services Danielle Sanders (859) 300-5300
Subject to the availability of funding for people who meet income guidelines:
Short-term lodging assistance.
Replacement housing assistance.
Zoned tenant assistance.
Sewer, landfill, & water quality management user fee assistance.
Assistance with current and past due water bills.
Services to vulnerable adults with disabilities.
Code Enforcement (CE) “Cash” Olensky. LFUCG (311)
Goal is to assure that properties are maintained to a minimum standard.
Nuisances include overgrowth (taller than 10”), trash/debris, cracked or uneven sidewalks (also cleared of snow/ice within 24 hrs of falling), junked cars, set outs, clean outs, large items like furniture/mattresses
Service requests made to 311/Lexcall; goes to supervisor and then inspector who checks it out
Constable serves notice to vacate/landlords do actual set outs and are responsible for them.
All notices go to property owner listed on PVA website; mailed and/or posted on door of property.
There must be landlord-or-tenant-approved access to property for any indoor issues; then involves building inspection
Appeal process to hearing officer, also extensions of time or request dismissal
All notices/action taken is public record and obtained by request for “open records” to Legal Department
Landlords sometimes, but not frequently, use CE to weaponize against renters to intentionally displace and raise rent; more often landlords either do not renew a lease or increase rent beyond tenant affordability.
Legal Aid of Bluegrass Preston or Brian (859)-431-8200
Goal is to offer free civil legal assistance for low income individuals, including vulnerable populations (discrimination), domestic violence, immigrants/refugees, child custody agreements, Power of Attorney/living wills/wills.
Advised to always pay rent, regardless of situation (make copies of check/money order)
Follow written lease agreement (rental amount, repairs, utilities, pets, guests, criminal or disruptive behavior)
Remedies include termination of lease, repairs deducted from rent, monetary damages.
Eviction/termination of lease for non-payment or breach of contract, non-renewal of lease.
7-day notice—14-day extension—30 day notice to vacate, + appeals
Fair Housing Council Art Crosby
Goal is to offer free legal advice/interventions for tenants dealing with racial, sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination issues related to housing.
Uphold Civil Rights Act, Amer with Disabilities Act and other related to discrimination against criminal history or sexual related charges; also assist tenants being displaced.
Housing Repair Assistance, Housing Rehabilitation Program. $35,000 grants to homeowners for major repairs (LFUCG)
Rental Assistance to landlords for 12mos back rent/3 mos forward (Community Action)
Relocation Assistance to tenants for relocation costs (Housing/Community Services/LFUCG)