Do you rent in Kansas City? Here’s how to find your building owner and what complaints they’ve had
There are several ways tenants can learn more about the apartments where they live and their landlord — including how many complaints other tenants have filed with the city.
Renting in Kansas City can come with uncertainties: you may not know who your landlord is, who to report maintenance issues to or which properties to definitely avoid.
In Kansas City, more tenants are standing up to bad landlords, demanding improved living conditions and exercising their rights as renters.
If you’re looking for a new place to rent, you might want to know a little more about who owns and manages the property — or maybe you want to know more about your current landlord.
Knowing who manages a rental property and the experience of current tenants can help you make an informed decision about where to live. Here’s how you can start investigating your property:
Kansas City’s parcel viewer is a good place to start. Type in the street address you want to look up.
Results — including who owns it, the council district where it’s located and when trash is collected — show up on the left. Knowing who owns the property can help you better understand if you are dealing with a local landlord or an out-of-state LLC.
The results bar will also show you a list of 311 cases: these are reports filed to the city’s 311 hotline that can include property violations and Healthy Homes violations.
Kansas City’s Healthy Homes Rental Inspection Program is meant to ensure landlords are providing safe and habitable homes. Tenants who encounter issues can report them to the city using 311.
Click on the button marked “311 Cases.” A separate window will pop up listing all 311 cases addressed to the property. This is where you can see if a property has received Healthy Homes complaints, how many, and if or when the complaints were resolved. If you want to look into a particular complaint, click on the ID number. This will open up another window that will show details about the 311 report, including specific details about the submitted complaint.
This will give you an idea of any issues tenants have encountered at a certain property.
In the box beneath “Parcel Data,” click on the “Code Cases” link to see if the city has conducted any inspections on the building — and, if so, where they stand now.
A simple internet search can also tell you more about a landlord or property management company. Google reviews of an apartment complex can tell you about current or previous tenants’ experiences. Searching either the landlord’s name or the apartment complex under the “News” tab on Google can also bring up any relevant reports, like if a fire took place at the apartment.
KC Tenants is the citywide tenant union. The group has compiled a “Slumlord Masterlist” listing a number of companies and individual landlords it’s received multiple complaints about. The list describes housing conditions under these landlords and includes details about how many units the landlords oversee and how many evictions the landlord has filed against tenants.
KC Tenants also has a hotline for incident reports, questions or concerns: (816) 533-5435.
Did you find something that surprised you or that you think KCUR should know about? Have you had problems at your rental property you think we should look into? Reach out to reporter Celisa Calacal or message our text line at (816) 601-4777.