Jonesboro's property maintenance code is a done deal. In the process, both sides voiced concerns and ultimately Mayor Herald Perrin cast the deciding vote to pass it.
This issue stirred strong emotions on both sides. Many are worried about government overreach and show apprehension over right of entry and fines.
The landlords say it's going to cost them more money and could make rent more expensive. The renters say the new code protects them from slumlords. Each side has valid points and each side is guilty of hype.
An amendment made to the code addresses many of the issues. Occupants must give an enforcement official both verbal and written consent to enter the property. A judge can issue a warrant if they refuse, as well as ultimately decide the fine and timeline for violating property owners. A board of citizens and not city employees or leaders will hear appeals. That's a lot of consolation considering where the proposed property code started.
The code came about to protect tenants and I am glad. But, landlords have rights, too. Having these steps in place should go a long way to help both sides.
One of the missions of journalism is to hold politicians and government officials accountable. I'm glad they adopted these procedures, but I want to assure you that our journalists will be watching, and if the entry and fine procedures aren't followed by code enforcement, we will investigate and expose it to the public.
Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, understanding the new property code and not the hype makes this A Better Region 8.
- Chris Conroy, KAIT VP & General Manager
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