CREATED Sep. 5, 2013
Omaha, NE - If you can do the work yourself, why pay someone to do it? That's the argument one landlord is making against a city ordinance that limited the work he was allowed to perform on his rental properties.
John Malone Sr. calls the city licensing ordinance unconstitutional. The ordinance requires a licensed contractor to perform work on properties, but Malone says he knows how to do the work.
Recently, Malone was on a list of landlords in Omaha that needed to clean up or pay up. Before he could make improvements to any of his rental houses, he had to hire a licensed contractor. Malone said a city ordinance criminalized him for doing the work on his own.
The city said currently Malone has twenty houses facing enforcement issues. According to Malone, the ordinance caused many of his properties to suffer because legally he couldn't fix them.
"A city had no right to criminalize people for working, I think it's a power grab, I think it lines the pockets of people in charge," said Malone.
Wednesday, a judge granted Malone a temporary injunction meaning he can perform contracted work on his rental properties without being penalized. The injunction only applies to Malone, not all landlords.
Malone welcomes other landlords to join his fight.