City to Crack Down on Landlords

Meridian City Council members say some landlords are draining the system by not paying for water use. That's why they're looking for ways to make them pay up.

According to council members, at least some of that problem is being caused by landlords who will not make needed repairs and/or even pay water bills. Ultimately, this leaves the renters to foot the costs, which city council members say is not fair.

"Yes, very much so. If they have to pay their rent, they need to be treated fairly," said Ward 4 councilman, Jesse Palmer, Sr.

"It's something that's going to have to be worked out, maybe with an ordinance of another kind, not changing the ordinance that governs them, but a new kind of ordinance to make the landlords take care of their business," said Ward 3's Barbara Henson, council president.

During a recent work session, city councilman, Dr. George Thomas, asked city officials to review an ordinance that's now in place, which addresses this same concern with landlords.

"I'm not sure if we need to do it, but it holds the property owner responsible for those things," said Thomas. "There are some cities that have an ordinance that holds the land owners responsible."

Right now, it's unknown if the city of Meridian will adopt an ordinance similar to the one in Madison.
However, one thing that is for sure is that city council members say they do want to look at a way to protect renters from consequence that come from the owner's negligence.

If you are having problems with your water billing because of a landlord, or for any reason, officials say you should contact Meridian Public Works at 601-485-1950, or e-mail water billing at meridianms.org.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by paul Location: meridian on Feb 26, 2012 at 10:29 AM
    THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF WATER METERS IN MRIDIAN THAT LEAK ON THE CITY SIDE. DO NOT HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH MONEY IT IS COSTING THE CITY. WOW
  • by Been there done that Location: Meridian, ms. on Feb 24, 2012 at 07:29 PM
    Having lived on both side of the rental issue my experience has been that 75 to 80 percent of renters do not take care of something they do not own. I realize there a few landlords who are too stupid to keep their property up. I call them stupid because it makes no sense to kill the goose who lays the golden egg. How many city council members own rental property and actually know what they are talking about. Don't get caught up in a welfare warp!
  • by Henri Location: Meridian on Feb 24, 2012 at 07:26 PM
    I'm not sure I understand why landlords should pay for water consumption tenants use. I do know that landlords are responsible for providing suitable upkeep and maintenance on the property they are renting/leasing out, but I did not know they were required to pay utilities. I've lived in apartments, condos, townhomes all over the country, and I have had to cover all the utilities, with the exception of one location, and that was figured into the lease agreement.
  • by bearhunter on Feb 24, 2012 at 06:24 PM
    I will certainly agree that a landlord is responsible for repairs to house and property, but I do not feel they are responsible for the tenants bills. What if they water their garden 24/7. Why not their not responsible for the water bill. I bet the ones who are on government assistance will love that. Next they will have to pay the power bill.
  • by ANGELIA Location: MERIDIAN on Feb 24, 2012 at 05:12 PM
    I AM A FORMER RESIDENT OF MS.EVELYN TONI THOMAS,I SEE AS UNFAIR,THAT IF THERE AN INVESTIGATION TO THE HOUSE ON 28TH.AVENUE,WHY ARE THEY IN THE CRIME SCENE,IS NOT THE EVIDENCE TAMPERED WITH NOW,MS.THOMAS HAD A NINE ROOM BUILDING SHE HAD ONE WATER MAIN AND POWER LINE,AND ONE GAS LINE BEING USED IN 9 ROOMS. ,ACCORDING TO MERIDIAN STAR NEWSPAPER SHE IS ADVERTISING THESE PROPETIES AS APARTMENTS ,AND BECAUSE SOME OF US WERE IN THE INTITION OF PAYING HER,THOSES ACTIONS THAT SHE TOOK INTO HER OWN HANDS LOCKING THE GAS METER,AND HAVING THE WATER SHUT OFF WITH NO NOTICE OF EVICTION WAS UNFAIRLY!! IN THAT BUILDING NOW THAT THE BUILDING IS NOT BEING HANDLED RIGHT,THERE WHERE 3 FAMILIES THAT LIVED IN A COLD BUILDING WHILE OTHERS HAD MOVED ,WE HAD TO SLEEP AND I USE A BREATHING MACHINE AND HAVE HEART PROBLEMS,CLEANING UP ON HER BUILDING TO HELP US AT LEAST NOT HAVE HER TO COME BY AND DO THINGS THAt included cleaning,i was the FOOL.BUT SHE DID NOT DO US FAIRLY,HAVING SPOKE TO DIFFERENT OFFICALS:(
  • by Wayne Location: Collinsville on Feb 24, 2012 at 05:06 PM
    No ordinance is needed here. There are landlord/tenant laws in MS. Landlords and renters sign a contract, if the landlord is not meeting their contract, they should be sued. Let them spend a day or 2 in jail. I bet they would pay their water bills then. Let's enforce what we have, instead of looking for excuses to write more laws.
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