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City Council to discuss rental property changes today

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The Raleigh City Council meets at 1 p.m. today. Among the items on the agenda is proposed changes to the city's PROP ordinance. Here's a quick run down of the changes being considered:

- Require all rental properties, regardless of the number of units, to be registered with the city. Owners would pay $30 annually for the first registered unit and $10 for each additional unit registered in the same dwelling.

- Allow Raleigh police to issue $100 civil penalties for noise and nuisance violations instead of charging the tenant with a misdemeanor.

- Amend the ordinance so that the following crimes are consider violations of the ordinance: prostitution, possession of stolen goods, violations of certain state alcohol and liquor regulations, unlawful weapons, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, gaming violations and disorderly conduct.

Some landlords are complaining about the mandatory registration fee, saying it amounts to a tax on renters that is not necessary. Half the City Council expressed support for the changes last week, so their complaints may not derail the proposal.

 If approved, the changes will likely go into effect Jan. 5, 2009.

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