HomeFlorence CountyCity of Florence is cracking down on rental units that operate without...

City of Florence is cracking down on rental units that operate without proper permit

Florence, South Carolina – Florence city leaders recently announced that owners who don’t get the proper permits for rental units will face strict code enforcement actions. The City of Florence is taking this step in an effort to make people who rent units follow the rules and keep housing standards high. The Florence City Council’s Finance, Audit, and Budget Committee met on Wednesday to talk about the need for owners to get new rental permits.

Florence recently discovered new data that shows more rental units are working inside the city limits without the city’s knowledge. As a result of this finding, all landlords and rental agencies are now required to get rental permits. City leaders believe this move is a big step toward better regulation of the local housing market.

The city sends letters annually to notify owners of housing properties that their rental permits are coming due, as well as their business licenses. Despite sending out 1,053 letters in 2023, only 558 property owners responded with the necessary paperwork, indicating a concerning gap in compliance.

Clint Moore, Florence’s Assistant City Manager, said that the city planned to take action against owners who didn’t follow the rules.

“For those that receive their rental permits and who have registered with us there’s not any significant change, so essentially our rental registry as far as the codes go follows what is required through the state fair housing act, so there’s no additional codes or anything like that that are required on top of what is already required by the state of South Carolina,” Moore said.

Moore said that the city is going to do more to get involved and raise awareness in order to make these rules work better and hold landlords responsible. This includes participating in community meetings and educating property owners about their legal obligations under state law. The initiative’s goal is to provide landlords with the knowledge and tools they need to obtain legal assistance if they require it.

Read also: City of Florence receives nearly $9 million grant for Levy Park Reimagination Project

In an effort to properly spread the word about the initiative, the city will send 3,000 letters to owners and rental agencies this year. The city plans to send the letters between April and May, informing recipients of their responsibilities and allowing them until July to submit all necessary paperwork.

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