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BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore City Council gave preliminary approval to a bill requiring licensing and inspections of the city’s private rental housing.

The Baltimore Sun reports the council voted Monday on the legislation that would expand oversight starting next year to include one- and two-unit rental properties, not just larger buildings with three or more units governed by current law.

Officials say those smaller properties generate the most complaints but have been exempted from mandatory inspections.

Compliant landlords who fix violation promptly and avoid the most serious problems would earn a license requiring an inspection once every three years. Problematic property owners with more code violations would receive licenses requiring inspections yearly or every two years.

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The council needs to vote on the measure again before it advances to the mayor’s desk.

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Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com