Hamilton landlords voice their opinions
A small gathering of Hamilton landlords attended this month’s board of aldermen meeting to let their voices be heard on the council’s decision to revamp how the city handles delinquent accounts left by renters.
Steve Dahms was asked to speak for the disgruntled landlords. Dahms said the landlords had met and discussed the subject. Consensus was that they didn’t feel it was right to be caught up in taking care of the city’s business. Dahms referred to Missouri Statute 250.140 which deals “with services being furnished both to occupant and owner of premises and delinquencies,” which the city revisited at the last council meeting in December. Dahms said that just because it’s a Missouri statute, doesn’t mean the city has to enforce it. He said the landlords probably pay a third of the taxes in town as a whole. The city charges a deposit, and he also understands some people are allowed to run 90 days late in their water bills. Landlords have a difficult enough time as it is finding a good tenant. There have been times when he has had to ask a renter to leave, and the renter will punish the landlord by turning their water on and letting it run knowing the landlord will get stuck paying the bill. Dahms used the city of Kidder as an example stating that Kidder bills their customers on the first, they have until the tenth to pay, they are given another five day grace period, but at the end of the five days, their water is shut off. The most you can run up is a 45 day water bill.
Steven Brown spoke up saying that he felt it was wrong to make any third party responsible for another’s debt. He said he shouldn’t be held responsible for another man’s behavior or vice versa, and he believes it is a bad precedent to set at the local level.
For more on this story, see this week's edition of the Caldwell County News!