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Renters' Choice Going To Full Council

Bill Rinehart

Renters in Cincinnati may soon have alternatives to providing a full-month's rent before moving into a new home. Council may require landlords to give renters options such as an insurance policy, a monthly down payment or a deposit. Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld says if someone wants to pay the full damage deposit, they still could.

He says the measure protects landlords. "Midway through the term of that lease, they are going to be in possession of the full sum that they would under the status quo, the traditional security deposit," he says. "Huge breakthrough for the tenant - making $900 might not work upfront, but if you can do $150 a month for six months (that would be) potentially much more manageable within someone's budget." 

Supporters of the measure say it's a way to remove a barrier to housing. The president of the Real Estate Investors Association, Felicia Bell, says her organization is on board.

"But we also note that no legislation can really solve the problem of affordable housing," she says. "Removing barriers to development, building, rehabbing and providing rental housing is really the only solution."

The Renters Choice measure is on Wednesday's council agenda.

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Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio: and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.