The Kingston Common Council has considering a new policy which would create further governmental intrusion into the lives of citizens.
The proposal is to mandate an inspection each and every time a landlord rents to a new tenant. There is also consideration of a fee for each inspection, though that is not in the current legislation. There is no word if this mandate applies to the Kingston Housing Authority properties.
My first objection would be to a new fee. Landlords will just pass this along to the tenants resulting in higher rents. The people feeling this impact would be people of limited means trying to obtain good housing.
My second and stronger objection goes toward the ever increasing power and influence of government in our lives.
I understand that slum lords are a real problem in Kingston. This proposal, however, goes too far. Government should only become involved in the Landlord-Tenant relationship when formal complaints are made either by the landlord or the tenant, or by a citizen complaining of the property conditions.
More and more I am growing concerned at the rise of the power and influence of government. Europe was always a government dominated society. The United States was created as something entirely different. Our governments (federal, state, and local) were created as limited bodies with the real power resting in the American people. Sadly, we are trending toward a European model with limited freedom and greater governmental domination and control.
I urge our new Mayor to veto this legislation. Slum lords are a problem, but this idea is throwing the baby out with the bath water.