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Wilmington Mayor vetoes pre-rental inspection ordinance, citing unrealistic implementation

Delaware Public Media

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki vetoed a measure that would have required the city conduct pre-rental inspections on all residential units. 

It was the latest effort to improve the city’s housing stock and hold landlords accountable—but opponents said it wouldn’t be reasonable or effective. The ordinance narrowly passed City Councillast week.

The City has not done pre-rental inspections since 2007. The current administration failed to restart them in 2018, despite receiving four additional inspectors in the budget. 

Purzycki said in a statement Friday the old system of pre-rental inspections caused “long and erratic wait times” for scheduling inspections which hurt both landlords and renters.  

City officials estimate yearly pre-rental inspections of the city’s 18,000 rental units would amount to ten times the inspections they do now.

Purzycki said the pre-rental inspection requirement would misdirect the City’s attention and resources “away from the housing stock that most needs improvement.” 


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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