Hastings Code Compliance Officer Frank Jesensek, hired last fall, is a great addition for the city, Police Chief Jeff Pratt said.
“Frank has a great ability to communicate with people and explain the codes we’re trying to gain compliance. The goal with our codes is to gain compliance and not to have to enforce, or issue citations. As long as there is good faith effort by a person to correct an issue we’ll work with them for full compliance.”
Unfortunately, he said, there are times when people will not want to comply, and then they are forced into an enforcement action.
“If anyone has any questions about a city ordinance, they are encouraged to contact Frank,” he said.
Pratt said he and Jesensek met with Professional Code Inspections to go over a change in rental inspection laws. PCI has done rental inspections with registration, inspection and compliance of rental units for Hastings for years.
Enacted the first of the year, the law requires tenants to give an inspector permission to inspect the premises, instead of the owner.
In a letter sent to landlords on upcoming inspections, PCI includes a letter required to be signed by the tenant that allows the rental inspection.
Inspections of rental complexes in the city will continue to be waived as long as they pass the state inspections, Pratt said.
The new law mandates that landlords make a good faith effort to obtain the consent from a tenant by a written letter to the landlord when the city notifies the landlord of an inspection; a written letter giving permission as part of the lease; or putting the consent into the lease, so when the tenant signs the lease it is considered consent.
Hastings is not required to conduct rental inspections. If the city council opted not to continue inspections, it would not affect PCI’s contract, they would just not do them.