Yarmouth to vote on rental housing rules

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YARMOUTH — The Town Council last week sent a tenants rights ordinance to voters in November, rather than adopt the proposal.

The proposed ordinance would establish a Rental Housing Advisory Committee and require landlords to give tenants 75 days’ notice for rent increases.

In July, a petition was submitted in support of the ordinance. Under the Town Charter, if petitioned by citizens, the council must either adopt an ordinance or send it to a referendum.

Councilors last month postponed a vote on the ordinance to iron out conflicting opinions over its legality. But on Sept. 5 they defeated a motion to “spike” the proposal, as Councilor Tim Shannon put it, and voted 5-1 to send it to the polls.

Most councilors on Sept. 5 opposed the proposal, or aspects of it.

“(It) very well may not pass,” Shannon said. “Even if it does, we have the opportunity and, I think, the duty to take a look at it … and amend it.”