They and other renters argue that the city is violating their Fourth Amendment right to be secure from unreasonable searches. They challenge city-issued warrants that authorize officials to inspect their home not because they are under suspicion for committing a crime, but because officials want to make routine code inspections. And they claim that the renter and owner distinction is based on a discriminatory economic classification which violates their rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Rochester has targeted rental homes for inspection since 1997, when it required anyone who wished to rent out a home to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). COs are granted only after a code inspection, and must be renewed every six years, which entails another inspection. Those who refuse to be inspected face prosecution.
I don't see why the government should be allowed to conduct inspections without probable cause of a crime and a specific warrant indicating what they are looking for. If they have the permission of the property owner, that might be different, although there is still a balance to be struck.
This entry was published Wed Sep 25 00:02:18 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger
and last updated 2013-09-25 00:02:18.0.