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Columbus Council Voting On Affordable Housing Measures

Paige Pfleger

Columbus City Council votes Monday night on an affordable housing plan that includes a proposal to make landlords give renters alternatives to paying an up-front security deposit.

As the law stands today, tenants must pay a security deposit in full before moving into a rental property.  The legislation before Columbus Council would let renters stretch out payments for that deposit for three or six months, whichever the renter chooses. The payment would be due on the same day as the monthly rent.

This would not apply to landlords with fewer than five rental units.

Todd Smith, founder of Columbus Property Investors Association, opposes the security deposit installments because he says it puts the landlord at risk for a renter who could trash the property before all payments are made.

If passed by Council, the housing law would also require landlords to create a written receipt of security deposits and all rental payments. It would also prevent discrimination of renters based upon their source of income, a protection that the neighboring city of Bexley passed last year.

Debbie Holmes began her career in broadcasting in Columbus after graduating from The Ohio State University. She left the Buckeye state to pursue a career in television news and worked as a reporter and anchor in Moline, Illinois and Memphis, Tennessee.