Austin Code Department asks for feedback on Repeat Offender Program (ROP)

The Austin Code Department has launched a public input survey seeking feedback on the Repeat Offender Program (ROP)

All Austin residents are encouraged to participate in the survey. The survey is available for submissions until June 30 and available in Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, and Arabic.

According to a press release from the City of Austin, the standing rental registry was created in 2013 by Austin City Council through city ordinance and revised by council in 2014. The Repeat Offender Program was reportedly created to ensure that all Austin rental properties provide at least minimum health and safety conditions. 

The program has operated by requiring rental properties that meet criteria for a history of code violations to register with the Austin Code Department. When the ordinance was originally created in 2013 the criteria for registry consisted of a history of health and safety code violations, according to the code department. 

The ordinance was amended in 2014 to qualify properties based on any history of code violations, not only health and safety violations. Properties in the program submit to at least one annual inspection and pay a nominal fee each year they are in the program. 

In 2020, the Office of the City Auditor released an audit of the Repeat Offender Program

The audit reportedly found that the program was not fulfilling its goal of ensuring rental property minimum standards. The audit recommended the Austin Code Department consider making changes in the program’s registration requirements, including consideration of a full rental registry, fee structure, and program name. The Austin Code Department plans to present proposed changes to stakeholders and City Council in October 2022.

Click here to take the public input survey on the Repeat Offender Program (ROP).

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