Columbia Skyline

Unlawful Rentals

The Facts About Unlawful Rentals

What is an unlawful rental?

A residential property that is being rented and is not registered with the Office of Neighborhood Services, under the Rental Unit Conservation Law,Chapter 22,Article V.,22-181 to 22-195 of the City of Columbia Code of Ordinances.

What constitutes a rental unit?

It is any residential living space that is let for occupancy for someone other than the legal owner for any form of remuneration or compensation. Rental property may include apartment houses,rooming houses,two family dwellings or single family dwelling units.It also includes owner occupied structures with roommates that are paying rent to the owner to reside there.

Why should I care about unlawful rentals?

The citizens of Columbia have agreed that rental living units are to be regulated for safety and health. This is done in the interest of maintaining the well being of all of Columbia’s residents.Rental property that is not registered and inspected by the city may not provide the level of health and safety that the citizens have a right to expect in our community. Unlawful rentals are operating without a Certificate of Compliance, which is similar to a business license,and have not been inspected.

How do I know if a rental property is legal and in compliance with the City of Columbia?

You probably wouldn't. But,you can contact the Office of Neighborhood Services with the address of the property and the staff could tell you if it has a current Certificate of Compliance.

What will the city do if a  property is suspected as an unlawful rental?

Notice will be sent to the owner of the property to request that they apply for a Certificate of Compliance. If the City does not receive a response, the City may prosecute in order to get the owner to comply.

How can I help the city with rental compliance?

Be sure to register any rental property that you operate in the City of Columbia. If you suspect a property is not registered and compliant,please call the Office of Neighborhood Services with the address of the rental property and we will be glad to follow up. This helps us,the City and your neighborhood maintain property standards.

City of Columbia Office of Neighborhood Services Contact Information:

P.O. Box 6015
Columbia, MO 65205
(573) 817-5050