More landlords sign up in Lima’s rental registry

LIMA — It has been five months since Lima council passed a resolution creating the city’s landlord registry, but with applications ramping up in the past three weeks, both city officials and area landlords are beginning to get accustomed to this new process.

On Saturday morning, Lima Property Maintenance Code Inspector Angie Rex and Housing and Neighborhoods Deputy Director Carmillia Zion were on hand in Lima’s council chambers to help landlords navigate their way through the registration process.

“I feel we’ve been getting good cooperation,” Rex said. “I haven’t heard anything negative. In the meetings (leading up to the registry) we were hearing a lot of that, but with this, so far I think it’s been going very well.”

Over the past three weeks, Rex said that an average of 400 to 500 rental units have been registered each week, with some landlords calling in to get help over the phone or to set up a time to come to the Lima Municipal Building in person or registering their properties online themselves.

One thing Rex sees as helping with that participation is the fact that there is no cost to register rental properties, nor are there any mandatory inspections that come with it. Both of those measures were considered during initial debates on the registry. Inspections would be required if city code inspectors were alerted to two reports of violations at a rental property in a six-month period or four violations reported in a 12-month period, with those reports able to come from tenants or health and safety authorities, including the police and fire departments.

For Rex, having this registry is helpful, since it provides her department with actual points of contact for landlords, whereas that was not always the case before.

“We have emails and phone numbers now for these people, especially the out-of-town landlords that we didn’t have before, especially when it comes to a health and safety concern,” she said.

Jeff Dulmage, a real estate broker for Hartsock Realty, was on hand Saturday to register rental properties. While he expressed appreciation for the help the city was providing in this process, he also expressed concern that this could lead to additional burdens for landlords down the road.

“What’s going to happen next year, or two, four or five years down the road?” he said. “I’m not saying that Angie, our mayor or even city council are bad people. I’m just an advocate of small business. I believe that the market, a lot of times, metes out the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some bad landlords around, but I think, in an overall sense, it’s been improving for a while.”

Rental property owner Chris Hardesty also expressed that same mixture of appreciation for the city’s help and concern over what this could eventually become.

“Right now, it seems like all the motivations from the city are correct in what they’re trying to do,” he said. “I just don’t want it to turn into something onerous to where it’s going to be a huge burden on the landlords that are doing it right.”

The overall deadline to register rental properties is June 30, 2025. The city had originally set a deadline of June 30, 2024, for properties owners with 10 or more rental units, but Rex said there will be a grace period on that deadline. Rental property owners seeking more information can contact Rex at 419-223-7265, [email protected] or online at