Letter to the Editor: Having no code hurts town’s renters


The Front Royal Town Council voted down the proposed Property Maintenance Code months ago because of the training and employment costs to have an inspector. The existence of other high-dollar projects was also an alleged deterrent to funding the Property Maintenance Code. The estimated cost of the inspector was approximately $160,000 compared to other projects running into several million dollars.

Unfortunately, the effect is to continue the struggle among renters in certain rental properties for healthy conditions. This time, a 6-year-old child has been “bitten up” as her grandmother describes the situation, by bedbugs. And, her daughter fears the same happening to her newborn. The family says that they did not have the problem until their neighbors moved out, which may have caused the bedbugs to migrate to this family’s apartment.

Again, the issue arises that the landlord finds it difficult to accept the state Tenant-Landlord Act, which claims that bedbugs are a problem for the landlord to resolve. This feels like a never-ending saga when we could resolve problems that create victims up against the stubbornness of a particular perpetrator. We take many years to act, and sometimes maybe constructive action to curb violators never happens at all.

Linda J. Allen, Front Royal