CITY CODE EXPERIMENTATION
Municipal codes are local, but also experimental. Cities try what works, and make adjustments. More often than not they are indeed working as intended, which is why the State has not been asked to intervene as to any particular rental codes.
What is being prevented by HB 2115 is the right of localities to determine their needs, and express, through rental codes, that they value their communities and their tenant residents. Insofar as tenants constitute approximately one-third of all Arizonans, the remedy sought by HB 2115 is overly broad in addressing a problem that does not exist. It is unneeded and harmful.
The so-called grandfather amendment, “after January 1, 2019,” even if it were to mean what Chairman Kavanagh described, still does not suffice. Sure, it would allow cities, towns and counties the ability to retain what they already have. But it disallows them flexibility to redress new social characteristics and technologies. For example, over the last decade or so a bedbug pestilence has appeared on the scene.
Given that A.R.S. § 33-1319, the state standard regarding bedbugs, is very limited -- only mandating that landlords refrain from renting units known to be infested, and requiring them to provide vaguely defined educational materials to renters – county health departments have opted to impose regulations (and soon municipalities may be forced to do the same for the health and safety of their residents). Yet, by setting the matter in stone with a grandfather clause, HB 2115 establishes a permanent inequality between communities.
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