Irmo took a major step Tuesday toward trying to eradicate blight that town leaders say is taking root in some neighborhoods.
Town Council unanimously adopted a set of standards designed to ensure landlords maintain dwellings, a package that could be extended later to all homeowners.
Approval came despite scattered complaints that the guidelines seem burdensome.
Momentum for the package developed amid concern that landlords are becoming lax about repairs.
Assuring upkeep is vital for neighborhood preservation, Councilman Paul Younginer said.
New requirements include a maximum height of 12 inches for lawns, prompt repair of broken windows, no sagging gutters, no rusty siding and removal of stumps within 30 days after a tree is cut down.
A proposal for a town inspection clearing a home for occupancy before it can be rented was dropped.
Those specifications are an experiment likely to be adjusted, town leaders said.
Some features “will have to be tweaked” after experience with their impact, Mayor Hardy King said.
Town police will enforce the standards, with most repairs required within 30 days.
Landlords will pay a $50 annual fee, a registration town leaders want to know whom to contact to correct problems.
No one knows how many homes in the town of 11,000 residents are leased. By some estimates, as many as 700 of the community’s 4,200 residences are rented.
Councilman Barry A. Walker Sr. predicted that the plan will be extended to all dwellings once town leaders are satisfied it can do the job envisioned.
Reach Flach at (803) 771-8483.