If you look down many streets in Jackson, chances are you’ll see a rental.
“The statistics out there are 52% of our properties in the city of Jackson are non-owner occupied,” councilmember Laura Schlecte, said.
Some landlords are letting their places go and it’s forced the city to think about making a change.
“(The city) is asking that all non-owner occupied residential units be registered,” Schlecte said. “That will help the city track absentee landlords.”
The city of Jackson is proposing a charge of $30 per building and an additional $10 per unit to be paid every other year to own a rental property in the city. The city says the registry will hold landlords accountable and force them to tidy up, but not everyone agrees.
“We’re against any infringement on property rights and this is just a very hefty fee to be a landlord in the city,” Ben Latocki, President of the Jackson Area Association of Realtors, said.
There are roughly 7,000 rental units scattered throughout buildings in Jackson and the $10-a-unit fee could be much larger to some landlords.
“There’s a lot of landlords who have 10-20 units,” Latocki said.
“The money is directed to the community development department only,” Schlecte said. “It can not go into the general fund.”
The city says it was the lack of upkeep that forced a change, but if the proposal goes through, the city could be looking at even more eyesores in the community.
“If we impose additional costs, yes, I could certainly see them bailing on the properties,” Latocki cautioned.
“The intention of the ordinance isn’t to elimate landlords. It’s for the city to be more accountable,” Schlecte said.
If you’d like to voice your opinion, the ordinance will be discussed and voted on at Tuesday nights Jackson City Council meeting.