Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 122485
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File Number: 122485 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-96-13 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: ENFORCEMENT OF LICENSE AND VACCINE REQS AGAINST LANDLORDS Introduced: 12/18/2012
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 2/5/2013
Agenda Date: 2/5/2013 Agenda Item Number: 11A1
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR DESIGNEE TO CEASE COLLECTION EFFORTS AGAINST LANDLORDS FOR VIOLATIONS BY TENANTS OF ANIMAL VACCINATION AND LICENSING REQUIREMENTS
Indexes: ANIMALS
  TENANTS
  VIOLATIONS
Sponsors: Audrey M. Edmonson, Prime Sponsor
  Lynda Bell, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 2/5/2013 11A1 Adopted P

Public Safety & Healthcare Admin Cmte 1/15/2013 2A Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Gerald Sanchez read the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. Commissioner Bell asked to be added as a co-sponsor to this item. Commissioner Jordan said she learned that the landlord had to continue paying the fees even after the pet’s death. She proffered an amendment to eliminate these fees after the pet’s death. Mr. Alex Munoz, Director, Animal Services Department, clarified that once the pet was deceased, the department eliminated the fines. Commissioner Jordan asked to meet with Mr. Munoz separately regarding a specific case in which the violation occurred before the pet’s death; yet, the landlord had to continue paying the fines even after the pet was deceased. Mr. Munoz explained that none of these fines ever became liens against a landlord’s property. Commissioner Heyman said that surely someone who fails to vaccinate or have a proper license for his/her pet should be held accountable, and asked Mr. Munoz to explain how this could be done if the pet owner had no contractual obligations with the County. Mr. Munoz said the staff members agreed that the landlord should not be held responsible if the tenant failed to vaccinate or have a proper license for his/her pet, and the department would have to follow up with the tenant to ensure that he/she fulfilled all of the requirements regarding his/her pet. Commissioner Bovo asked how the department verified that the pet was indeed deceased. Mr. Munoz indicated that the Animal Services Department could follow up with the veterinarian’s office; however, he acknowledged that some pet owners falsely informed the department that their pet was deceased. Commissioner Bell noted her daughter took in a dog, vaccinated it, and it ran away afterwards. She said that she wrote to the department explaining this, but the staff kept asking her for proof. She asked how the department could avoid such situations in the future. Mr. Munoz indicated that in this particular situation, the staff members were at fault. He said that in doubtful cases the staff could have the pet owner sign an affidavit, or send an inspector. Commissioner Souto noted he had been working with the Animal Services Department to bring pets to areas with high concentrations of senior citizens, and asked Mr. Munoz to update him on this program. Mr. Munoz stated that the original program, sponsored by Commissioner Souto, began last August, and senior citizens living in County-owned properties were taken to shelters to select pets; he indicated that he was working on legislation regarding the next phase, which would involve targeting senior citizens living in privately-owned properties. Commissioner Souto pointed out that many senior citizens were living far away from their families, and such a program could provide a solution to their feelings of depression and isolation. He said that he would like to work with Mr. Munoz to implement this program fully as soon as possible. Mr. Munoz indicated that the Animal Services Department regularly had promotions for the adoption of pets free of charge on Senior Citizens Days more than once a year. Hearing no other questions or comments, the Committee members proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed resolution, as presented.

County Attorney 1/2/2013 Referred Public Safety & Healthcare Admin Cmte 1/15/2013

County Attorney 12/18/2012 Assigned Dennis A. Kerbel 12/20/2012

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR DESIGNEE TO CEASE COLLECTION EFFORTS AGAINST LANDLORDS FOR VIOLATIONS BY TENANTS OF ANIMAL VACCINATION AND LICENSING REQUIREMENTS

BODY
WHEREAS, this Board wishes to encourage economic development by removing barriers to the purchase and sale of real property; and
WHEREAS, title companies preparing for a sale of real property routinely search open code enforcement citations associated with a property address and demand, at the time of closing, that the parties pay a settlement to Miami-Dade County for open, unpaid citations, even if the citations have not been reduced to liens; and
WHEREAS, many landlords that are about to close on the sale of real property discover that tenants with pets have been issued citations for violations of animal vaccination and licensing requirements under Chapter 5 of the County Code; and
WHEREAS, the County Finance Departmentís credit and collections division demands payment, often amounting to thousands of dollars, from landlords for citations that were issued only to tenants and of which landlords had no prior notice,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board hereby directs the Mayor or his designee to cease collection efforts against landlords for citations issued only to tenants for violations of animal vaccination and licensing requirements pursuant to Chapter 5 of the County Code and to cooperate in the execution of a release of such citations against landlords at no charge.



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