Owner of a Holland rental property is disputing a recent change in the city's housing code.
HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - The city of Holland is using a new ordinance to crack down on landlords with properties in poor condition, but on Thursday night, one property owner will take her case to the board of appeals, because she says she was unfairly cited for a housing code violation.
City officials say the hearing could set a precedent for future enforcement.
Out of about 4,000 rental properties inspected in Holland, the owner of one building on West 14th Street is the first to complain about the city's new ordinance. Dori Depree claims she was wrongfully cited for the wood flooring inside. However, the tenant inside Depree's property, Sandy Martinez, says she often gets splinters on her foot which cause bleeding.
"Trying to pull it out especially," says Martinez.
The floor is made with a material known as OSB.
"According to specifications, it should not have been used in that manner," says Phil Meyer, director of community and neighborhood services in Holland.
Meyer says under the city's updated housing ordinance all repairs must follow the way the manufacturers of the materials intended.
"What the manufacturer says are appropriate uses for the material or inappropriate uses," says Meyer.
Dori Depree took the case to the board of appeals. Depree says she was unaware of her tenant's concerns and says she sees no problem with the type of wood she uses.
"It's like with any other wood floor that could happen, if we were notified that could be sanded and resealed. It has nothing to do with the material," says Depree.
Depree owns 11 other properties in the area and city officials say those have had multiple violations as well. In addition to the flooring, city inspectors say the steps in front of the apartment on West 14th street are falling apart.
Meyer says the board of appeals decision could impact future enforcement.
"Every time the board of appeals makes a decision on an interpretation like this it helps to create the framework we work in," says Meyer.
Meyer says if materials are used correctly they'll last longer and cost taxpayers less for inspections.
The penalty for landlords that violate housing code, ranges from getting a ticket to being forced to close, depending on the severity of the situation.