Battle against SLO’s rental inspection ordinance advances

August 31, 2016
San Luis Obispo Councilman Dan Carpenter

San Luis Obispo Councilman Dan Carpenter


Councilman Dan Carpenter and two local attorneys unveiled a plan Monday to strike San Luis Obispo’s controversial rental inspection program through the initiative process.

The proposed measure by Carpenter, Stew Jenkins and Dan Knight, says that the city’s rental inspection ordinance violates the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments. It contends the inspection ordinance is unlawful because it discriminates between renters and homeowners and dictates an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.

In May 2015, the city council voted 3-2 to adopt the ordinance that allows an inspector to enter and examine rental units to determine if the properties are safe and habitable. The ordinance also requires landlords to pay a fee to fund the program.

Mayor Jan Marx, Councilman John Ashbaugh and Councilwoman Carlyn Christianson support the program. Carpenter and Councilman Dan Rivoire voted against the rental inspection program, and have continued to ask that it be discontinued.

Many city residents have opposed the program, arguing it constitutes government intrusion and a tax on rentals. Supporters of the program contend there are deteriorating neighborhoods in the city where landlords do little to maintain their properties.

Last year, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio ruled that mandatory rental inspections were unconstitutional warrantless searches that violate the Fourth Amendment.

The three proponents of replacing the ordinance filed their proposal on Monday. City Attorney Christine Dietrick now has 15 days to name and describe the measure.

Then, proponents of the measure will have 180 days to collect the signatures of 15 percent of registered voters in the city, or roughly about 3,900 signatures. If successful, the measure will then go to the people for a vote.

Under the name SLO Voice, the proponents plan to raise funds to pay for the cost of collecting signatures and for legal expenses.

Jenkins has a long history of battling for the constitutional rights of San Luis Obispo County residents. In 2013, Jenkins and attorney Saro Rizzo filed a lawsuit accusing the city of San Luis Obispo of discrimination, harassment and the criminalization of homeless people. Following a decision by a superior court judge that the city’s treatment of the homeless was unconstitutional, the city voided its fines against the homeless.


Non-Discrimination in Housing Initiative by CalCoastNews on Scribd


Good Job Dan, Stew and Dan. This is the screwiest thing and I think it needs to be challenged. I hope this article gets in the Trib and New Times so you can get the required signatures in a few hours.

SLO this is the time to make a stand and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH


Well if SLO promoted home ownership as in actually having the “owners” living in the homes instead of absentee landlords i think our community would improve, but heres the thing. When the 2008 housing market crashed a ton a cheap homes were on the market and were swooped up but people who wanted to turn a profit and just rent homes. Now, to be able to afford a median priced house in SLO city, which is $530,000 by the way” it would take 150% the average persons salary to be able to purchase a home. How could a community, which is supposedly the happiest place on earth, be so happy when 65% of the home sin SLO are rentals to people who are just here to go to school and are more than likely going to leave in 4-5 years. This perpetual changing of neighbors only hurts the community. You have no idea whos going to be moving in and/or how long they will be staying. the City only cares about the money it can generate from this program to fund something else that doesnt benefit the community. Its time to clean house and get rid of the lot of them. From DC to Sacramento to SLO. Get the old cronies out and get some fresh ideas in. No one should become rich from public service.


SLO landlords are required to pay a fee supposedly to fund this program.

Where does that $$ go? There’s no way all of the $$ is used for rental inspections..

Does the $$ go into the general fund…therefore paying for SLO city manager and staffer’s very generous salaries and pensions?


P.S. Dan Carpenter: I can’t vote for you but if I lived in SLO, I’d do so in a heartbeat! Keep up the good work!


It goes to pay salaries for the inspectors, who were newly hired people.


Local government (City of San Luis Obispo) must first clean THEIR house before even thinking about a rental house inspection program.

Oh the hypocrisy!


As if the city really cares. I read TAX


More like read salary increases, more benefits and prop up of the failed pension system, at least until Lichtig and others gets theirs and get out.


Botton line is people are sick of government stealing our hard earned money in the name of “safety” when they can’t budget the money they already squandered. When people work full time and have nothing left after bills and Taxes, the politicians still want more while they in turn receive huge pensions & perks with money stolen from the public. Remember how the lottery was going to infuse our schools with all the money they would ever need? Yet somehow our schools are more destitute than before and administration is the only one reaping benefits while citizens are once again are footing the bill with bonds constantly on the ballots pleading in the name of our children like a sad SPCA commercial. Wasteful spending with greed and corruption are the norm as our representatives sell out the people they are supposed to represent.


“Yet somehow our schools are more destitute” yet the percentage of a schools budget towards salaries, benefits and pensions is higher than ever. The lottery money went somewhere, just not to the students.


What is deficient within our elected public servants that keeps them from governing on a case by case basis? What is this blanket code enforcement form of government we see in SLO and other cities like Morro Bay. Hey folks! if the job is too tough resign. You all signed up for the job so stop trying to make your job easier on the backs of the citizenry. If a dwelling is unsafe and is reported as such then deal with that property, you do not need to inspect everyone’s rental property.


“case by case basis?” This was the standard until a certain neighbourhood group started to push these various ordinances against (mostly) student neighbourhoods.

Remember you can only have outdoor tagged furniture on your front porch, some nice wooden bench? Nope that’s a fine.


Dan, your absolutely right again! Where can I send my campaign check?


Dan Carpenter Supervisor 2016

PO Box 978

San Luis Obispo, CA 93406

Fire Adam Hill


Its in the mail



You are my Hero. Thank you for standing up for our constitutional rights.


Why not just investigate complaints about rentals from renters and leave it at that?


But that wouldn’t bring in enough money to fund the next salary increase for Lichtig and Dietrick, let alone Christmas bonuses.