By Jessica Mathews /

An updated fee schedule has been finalized to coincide with the City of Howell’s Residential Rental Properties Ordinance.

Ordinance 948 was introduced at the last Council meeting in January and revises the fees for issuing permits and certificates as well as performing inspections to be consistent with the cost to the City of providing the services. An amendment was needed based on the number of rentals the City has and fee increases.

A memo states the fee schedule has since been updated to include all rental registration and inspection fees related to the recently adopted Residential Rental Ordinance. In addition, the entire chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect current costs for service for all review, inspection, and permitting activities that are covered in the ordinance.

City Manager Erv Suida said some updates were done to the rental registration ordinance and this update to the fees will go along with those changes. He told WHMI at the meeting there really aren’t any large increases. Suida noted the City will be moving from annual inspections and registrations to bi-annual and there is a little bit of benefit in doing every two years instead of one. He added there’s a lot out there and they would rather spread it out and cover all of their bases to make sure they’re inspecting all rentals.

The changes that were done to the larger rental registration ordinance were said to make language more user-friendly and clarify that registrations were being issued – not licenses. The revised language was intended to help landlords better understand the process as well as their responsibilities in maintaining up-to-date registration. City staff noted the changes also put the City in a better position to ensure that the integrity and safety of rental properties are protected.

The new fee schedule will be before City Council Monday night for expected approval.