Jackson considers requiring inspections for rental property
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s largest city is considering changes to its rental ordinance including annual inspections of rental property, in an effort to reduce blighted rental housing in Jackson.
WLBT-TV reports changes could include requirements for landlords to register all rental property and to give the names of tenants to the city. The city could also require an annual $50 inspection, and require a registered agent of the property owner to live in Jackson.
“We have come to the stark reality that our neighborhoods, at least some of them, are in a state of decline and that state of decline will continue to spread to the other healthier neighborhoods,” said Chloe Dotson, Director of Planning and Development, said in a Thursday hearing before the Jackson City Council.
Dotson said a local registered agent would help the city hold absentee property owners accountable. The city has widespread problems with abandoned property and hazardous rental units, stemming from a declining population and aging housing stock.
But lawyers and landlords warn requiring the names of residents be given to the city could violate privacy laws.
City Council members said they would consult with lawyers and consider changes. The proposal could be voted on as soon as Tuesday. It would take effect within a month.
“What the city of Jackson wants to do is make sure that unit stays in a livable condition, and it doesn’t decline over years,” said Councilman Aaron Banks.