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La Crosse aims to curb home conversion to rentals (UPDATE)

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) – With nearly half of the homes in La Crosse rented, the western Wisconsin city is looking for ways to prevent more single-family homes from becoming rentals.

A committee formed to increase oversight of rented homes and to encourage home ownership issued a report Wednesday with recommendations for changing the city’s registration process and requiring conditional use permits for rentals, according to the La Crosse Tribune. The committee has been trying to find solutions before a six-month moratorium on home-to-rental conversions expires Jan. 21.

A conditional use permit would let the city set standards for rentals, gather more information on rented properties and require neighbors to be told when a property is being rented.

The committee also recommended having landlords register their properties every two years instead of five and setting criteria for revoking registrations.

Landlords complained the committee was adding red tape when the city hasn’t been enforcing the rules it already has in place.

“I think the recommendation is a lot more rules,” said Tom Sweeney, a former Common Council member.

Even some committee members said they disagreed with some of the recommendations.

Committee member and real estate agent Donna Proudfit said she thinks a recommendation to inspect properties up for sale, not just rentals, goes too far.

“I think this is a huge overreach of government,” Proudfit said.

Common Council and committee member James Cherf said the report wasn’t perfect but it would give the council something to consider as it tries to address the problem.

Information from: La Crosse Tribune,

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