KC to consider creating a Tenant Bill of Rights

KC to consider creating a Tenant Bill of Rights

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — The council chamber is packed with members of Kansas City Tenants, an organization advocating for renter rights.

For about an hour, person after person stood up to tell their personal stories to the council. The proposed resolution and ordinance would create a division of housing and community development with a rental housing assistance unit.

That unit would operate a rental housing hotline and provide a regularly updated Tenant Bill of Rights document. The Bill of Rights would give tenants the right to collectively bargain, stop landlords from passing on fees to tenants, put limits on security deposits, require written consent from tenants for entry into their unit and require disclosures about past issues in units and utilities estimates.

It would also ensure freedom from discrimination based on sex, race, sexual orientation, age, source of income, rental history and arrest or conviction history.

“We served our time. The patrol board let us back out and decided we were good enough to be reintegrated into society. But now society is holding it against us and won’t give us a fair shake,” said James Shelby who is a convicted felon who lives in his car.

He said it would raise rental prices. KCPS spoke in favor of it. It is unclear when the council will vote on the issue.