Fair Rent has new act­ing di­rec­tor

The Norwalk Hour - - NEWS - By R.A. Schuetz rschuetz@hearst­medi­act.com; @raschuetz

NORWALK — Anna Kee­gan of the Norwalk Fair Rent Depart­ment was named act­ing di­rec­tor on Wed­nes­day.

Pre­vi­ously a civil rights and fair rent in­ves­ti­ga­tor for the depart­ment, she will be act­ing as di­rec­tor fol­low­ing for­mer di­rec­tor Adam Bovil­sky’s move to head the Norwalk Hous­ing Author­ity.

Dur­ing her first meet­ing with the Fair Rent Com­mis­sion — which can in­ves­ti­gate, me­di­ate and set rent in dis­putes between land­lords and ten­ants — the com­mis­sion voted to act upon a prob­lem it has been con­sid­er­ing since last year, when it formed the Ren­tal Value Com­mit­tee.

While com­mis­sion­ers rou­tinely re­view the mar­ket trends, the data they re­ceive from the Con­necti­cut Mul­ti­ple List­ing Ser­vice does not in­clude that of build­ings that do not use real es­tate agents, in­clud­ing units ad­ver­tised solely on Craigslist, Zil­low or other sites. Such units in­clude those in Avalon Norwalk and Avalon East Norwalk.

Large, pro­fes­sion­ally man­aged apart­ment com­plexes that of­ten do not rely on real es­tate agents have been adding to Norwalk’s hous­ing stock in re­cent years, and an ex­am­i­na­tion of the rent com­plaints from large apart­ment com­plexes built af­ter 2000 showed rent in­creases were of­ten sub­stan­tially higher than those in other build­ings.

So as rent com­plaints rose from seg­ments of the mar­ket not tracked by such ser­vices, the com­mit­tee was formed to con­sider ways to un­der­stand the fuller pic­ture.

John Church, who heads the com­mit­tee, shared a draft of a let­ter that could be sent to prop­erty man­agers of build­ings with 20 or more units in or­der to re­ceive anony­mous in­for­ma­tion about the units leased within the pre­vi­ous year. Ques­tions in­clude the av­er­age list­ing and clos­ing prices for units of vary­ing sizes.

“The goal is that we’ll send this out by mid-Au­gust,” Church said. The com­mis­sion voted to move for­ward with the draft, start­ing by com­pil­ing the list of prop­erty man­agers to send let­ters to.

The re­sult­ing data may show trends the com­mis­sion had not seen pre­vi­ously. How­ever, it will not be used to de­ter­mine fair rent for in­di­vid­ual units. For each spe­cific unit that reg­is­ters a com­plaint, the com­mis­sion looks at whether sim­i­larly sit­u­ated units with sim­i­lar ameni­ties are com­pa­ra­bly priced.

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