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A Little Rock City Board law is passed with the intention of making landlords more responsible



Little Rock, Arkansas – To hold landlords more responsible, the Little Rock Board of Directors issued a set of resolutions and an ordinance.

Some municipal directors opposed the measure, arguing that more community feedback should be obtained before the vote. Still, they proceeded.

The ordinance, according to its proposer, municipal director Antwan Phillips, operates within the bounds of state law.

All of the city’s multifamily homes are covered under the ordinance. Officials stated that this ordinance will allow the city to levy fines or liens against properties that cause problems and to assume the cost of resolving them.

Programs for housing and neighborhoods currently evaluate properties every quarter and report their findings to the city board. The city board has the authority to impose sanctions on the landlord and properties if an apartment fails to comply with city code.

“We can place a lien on your property, we will get attorney fees for the effort expended, and we will get a 10% collection fee for the efforts we did to bring that building up to code, and it allows us if we so choose to foreclose on those different buildings,” Phillips said.

Renters are supported by Neil Sealy of Arkansas Community Organizations. This is just a first step, he continued; more work has to be done.

“I think that that’s a good step, but it’s not sufficient. There is so much more that needs to be done,” Sealy said.

A few others in attendance encouraged the city to proceed with the enforcement now that the ordinance has passed, during the discussion about the enforcement element of this.

Two further resolutions that addressed informing tenants of their rights and simplifying their access, such as posting a list of rights on the city website, were approved.
This won’t go into effect right now because there isn’t an emergency clause.

Phillips said that policies with other organizations have to be updated to meet the ordinance, but that enforcement should happen soon.

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