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Qwertz

The Housing Code

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Ruddy bleeping city thinks it can tell me what color to paint my house.

Actually, that's not the problem.

We just had a new, $18,000 roof put up. That's not the problem either.

There's a small porch off the backside of the house, accessed by a door on the second floor. The porch never had a railing, since it wasn't ever in use. Back in 2000, the city passed a revision to the housing code saying that all new such porches must have railings, and all existing such porches must have railings installed by 1 January 2006. So we're trying to do just that.

This is where the roof comes in: as part of the roof installation, the roof on the library, which is the room under the porch, was replaced. This roof portion amounts for probably only $2,000 of the total roof cost, but nonetheless...

The city's 'approved' railing designs all require that the balustrade supports be anchored in a certain way that the city housing inspector has determined to be asthetically pleasing. This method of anchoring requires us to rip out the roof and re-install it after the balustrade supports have been put in place. And the city won't pay a dime of it. One would say it's our fault, since we should have thought of that before putting in the new roof, right? Except that the city had previously told us that we wouldn't need to rip out the roof to put in the balustrade. This statement turned out to be made purely of the solid waste fecal matter of the intact male Bos taurus.

And of course the city is deciding to be thoroughly obnoxious on the issue. We've managed to locate a bracket which would provide the required stability, but without the extensive ripping up of the asphalt shingle and subroofing. It's a metal bracket. We would paint it, even. But the city says no, it wouldn't be 'asthetically pleasing.' Let alone the blasted thing would only be visible to someone standing on the bloody porch. And they won't even entertain a variance application, since any such application would bring up the economic issue of the cost of conforming to the code, and they're prohibited by the statute from granting variances on the basis of economic issues alone.

I put it to you that not being permitted to paint your own blasted house in electric bleeding fuchsia is practically the same as not owning the darn house at all.

Grr!

-Q

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You must live in Victorian Village. All I can say is, you have my deepest sympathies. Nothing they say is binding (on them, but it's binding as hell on you),

]I put it to you that not being permitted to paint your own blasted house in electric bleeding fuchsia is practically the same as not owning the darn house at all.
With the exception that you still have to pay taxes if you own the house.

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Actually, I used to be in Victorian Village, though I rented. From Victorian Gate before they went Condo. They wanted $356,000 for the 1,400 sqft condo I lived in when they converted. Gah! Got out of there fast. Moved home to Cleveland, so the city in question above is Shaker Heights. Though I do remember Victorian Village being persnickety. And German Village being even worse. Historic districts bah! Maybe if they really wanted to prevent massive fires, they'd let people tear down those old, crumbling firetraps to build something modern. And with bigger, less confusing streets.

-Q

Edited by Qwertz

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Did you hear about the new law that prohibits you from grilling on your balcony? I heard about it on the radio and I can't find squat on the internet about it.

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Did you hear about the new law that prohibits you from grilling on your balcony? I heard about it on the radio and I can't find squat on the internet about it.

That law is *really* annoying since I live in an apartment. I guess the logic behind it is that if you catch your apartment on fire from grilling, there is a good chance you will also catch your neighbor's place on fire as well. The problem with that logic is that according to the news there were only 8 apartment fires in Ohio in about the past 4 years from grilling, none of which caused much damage. In other words, this law is a classic example of idiot lawmakers not thinking things through.

Luckily, something this stupid is practically unenforceable when you think about it, given that hardly any tenant I know is taking it seriously.

I really think that this will either be repealed or cops will eventually give up on trying to enforce it. Looking around my apartment, almost every balcony has a grill on it. As a sidenote, one reason I think this is stupid for my apartment in particular is that everyone has wood fireplaces. If somebody is going to burn down the entire building which is more of a danger: a grill that can be turned off, or a fireplace? That's our tax dollars hard at work! :P

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Luckily, something this stupid is practically unenforceable when you think about it, given that hardly any tenant I know is taking it seriously.

If only people would be so brave with regard to income tax. Think they could arrest 200,000,000 people for income taxe evasion if they had no money to pay federal agents? Now, how do we convince everyone that voluntarily giving away 1/2 of your income is even more silly then not having grills on your deck.

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Turns out I can paint my house fuchsia. Paint, they say, is a 'temporary' improvement.

As for grills on the balcony, I don't think that law will go away. Apartment owners would have to oppose it, and from my experience, they'll take any excuse to restrict tenant freedom. Though I don't see as how it changes anything - every apartment in Ohio I've ever rented had a prohibition against grills on the patio in the lease.

-Q

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I know what you mean: why do we need a LAW for something that landlords can implement for themselves? Is it so difficult to throw tenants out when they infringe the lease agreement that the landlord needs even more ammunition?

(I've moved this to the Ohio subforum, btw, since it's a little specific.)

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Is it so difficult to throw tenants out when they infringe the lease agreement...?

I don't know for sure, but in NYC it can take up to 2 years to evict a non-paying tenant. I'm pretty sure in Ohio it can take at least 90 days if you count court-mandated notice.

By the way I got my railing situation worked out with the city. Turned out to be a lot easier than any of us thought.

-Q

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From what I understand it usually helps if you go and talk to someone in person. It's like they have a bunch of professional phone operators whose job it is to make you think that someone is going to show up at your house and arrest you no matter what you do.

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I'm pretty sure in Ohio it can take at least 90 days if you count court-mandated notice.
I'm curious about that. As I understand it, there is a 3-day notice to leave period, then a trial which they say is 2-3 weeks scheduling, plus 10 days after a finding against you. If you add in a second cause to get back money, that seems to add a month. If you ask for a continuance, you can get a week but that leaves you with a 3 day period for moving. OTOH, reality may be different from representation of reality, under Ohio law....

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