JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Following the passage of the Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code at a council meeting Tuesday night, the city of Jonesboro is trying to ease concerns over right of entry and fines.
"This is going to basically be a complaint driven deal," Mayor Perrin said. "It's not just that we're going to go down the road and look at a house. There will have to be a call coming in and once a call comes in, we'll go and check it out."
Due to an amendment made to the code, an occupant or tenant must give an enforcement official both verbal and written consent to enter the property. If they refuse, a property maintenance inspector would have the opportunity to seek a search warrant from a judge.
If an inspector issues a violation, the property owner will be given between 60 to 180 days to correct the violation.
Within the first 30 days of the violation notice, the responsible party can contest the order to an appeals board made up of Jonesboro citizens that are not city employees.
If the appeals board upholds the violation notice, the time to repair the issue would begin. The amount of time given to fix the issue depends on the extent of repairs needed, the severity of the dilapidation, the estimated cost of repair and whether a permit is needed.
If the responsible party fails to correct the violation within the time frame, has not requested or been granted an extension, and there is no "tangible process toward correcting the violation," the inspector may then cite the responsible party for a violation. The issue would then go before a district court judge.
According to the city's violation procedures, a district judge can then determine to fine the person and for how much money.
The responsible party also has the right to appeal the district court's ruling.
The seven steps of the violation procedure and appeals for a violation notice can be found here.
To read the property maintenance code, click here.
Following the passage of the code Tuesday night, Mayor Perrin stated it will likely be months before the code takes effect. Mayor Perrin stated an appeals board will need to be created and they will likely hold an amnesty period for people to have their properties inspected.
Copyright 2015 KAIT. All rights reserved.