After complaints, city retooling rental housing code

AMORY — The City of Amory is redrafting a rental housing code to combat what officials say is blight and deterioration that many residents feel not only bring property values down, but signals a decline in the quality of living.

“Rental housing is just one area of our problems, but we are focusing on it due to citizen complaints,” city building inspector David Moore told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

Moore said the code would set a minimum standard for homeowners looking to rent their property to cover the life safety and general welfare of their tenants.

It will include working heating and air units, safe utilities, structure sturdiness and exterior aesthetics like mowed yards.

Moore said the difference between the new code and the state law on property cleanup is that the city’s minimum standards will be specified.

He said landlords will be provided with a copy and the city will have a list of all landlords and their contact information.

“Not every town or rental code is the same but we are taking what others have done and molding it to fit Amory,” Moore said.

Amory property owner and landlord Merri Sanderson said the code is a good idea provided that the city is prepared to follow through with enforcing it.

“Property owners who don’t keep their property up decrease the value of the whole neighborhood. It’s basically just a couple of people who do this and there is a lot of turnover there. That’s not the type of renter I look for. If the city will enforce the code, it might change things. If not, it won’t matter,” Sanderson said.

 

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

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