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Landlord’s Guide to “BLIGHT BILL” Ordinance 19-026

What It Would Do
  • Increase the cost of a rental business license to $100 per unit, not to exceed a total fee of $10,120

  • Make code enforcement a civil process, which means that the City would not need to go to the court to impose code violation fines.

How It Would Work
Step 1) L&I would issue a citation for a code violation, which range from peeling paint to structural problems.
Step 2) If the landlord doesn’t fix the code violation in the time required, which is typically 30 days but can be 3 days for major violations, the City could fine the landlord $250 a week for each code violation until it is fixed.
Step 4) Any fines imposed by the court could become a first-priority lien on the house, meaning that the City gets paid before any other creditor from the sale of the property
Step 5) The City could foreclose on the house to collect the lien.


Landlords could appeal violations to the board of license and inspection review by filing an appeal in writing within 20 days after receiving the notice of violation and paying a $50 fee which would be refunded if the appeal is successful. 

More New Under This Law

  • Rental properties would be required to be inspected every three years. The City may inspect a random sample of rental properties, with a target goal of inspecting 1500 units a year.

  • The purpose of all rental inspections is enforcement of the provisions of the City Code concerning life safety items which include, but are not limited to: smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, heating sources, hot water sources, electrical systems, sanitary disposal sources, water damage, roofs and means of egress and ingress.

  • Would create a fine for not letting an inspector into the property: $250 a week.

  • Would create a fine for not getting a rental business license: $500

More Info

Download the revised Ordinance No. 19-026 (Agenda Item #4654) here. 

A Better Alternative

Instead of proposed "Blight Bill" Ordinance 19-026, Wilmington needs a balanced set of policies to improve housing and stabilize neighborhoods. Find more information on a better alternative here: Code Reform that Works

Speak Up!

Call City Council at (302) 576-2140 and Ask Them to Vote NO on Ordinance 19-026 (Agenda Item #4654) and ask for the community to be involved in creating a balanced set of policies to improve housing and strengthen neighborhoods!

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