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MASON CITY, IA – It’s a controversial new city ordinance that has many landlords in Mason City worried of the future, however at least for one realtor, it’s all about making the community a better place to live.
The Nuisance ordinance passed on Tuesday will hold all landlords accountable for not only the actions of their tenants, but also only activities that occur on their property.
After a string of complaints from residents neighboring these “problem houses” law enforcement say it was time to take a stand and hold these landlords responsible as well.
“We’re not here to point fingers at landlords or anything. This is a group effort and a community efforts. Our hope is that we can better improve communications between landlords and police,” said Captain Mike McKelvey of Mason City Police.
According to officer McKelvey, fees and fines can be assessed to any landlords not addressing complaints against their tenants in a timely manner.
Among other concerns, McKelvey notes that the fines have many landlords fearing unexpected sanctions, although apparently that’s not the case.
“Before anything happens, we begin by notifying the landlords of any concerns then go ahead to trying to work on a solution for both parties. If they choose not to, then there may be possible fees and fines against them, said McKelvey.
Though many landlords have spoken against the ordinance, one major realtor is standing by law enforcement and says it’s the best option for the community. Jim Marino is President of American Realty in Mason City and says while he can see why some landlords would be hesitant to take on full responsibility, he says this is something they already should do.
“If you’re a landlord and you cooperate with law enforcement about this, then there you should have non problem. But if you don’t then you will end up having problems being liable,” said Marino.