Harriman takes aim at slumlords

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By Cindy Simpson

Harriman may try a new tactic in addressing what officials refer to as slum lords renting out property in disrepair.

Harriman Treasurer Charles Kerley suggested a policy in which the city would be able to go into the rental property and clear it for habitation before a landlord can rent a piece of property.

“You can’t go in and charge a fee to re-rent,” Kerley said. “You have to have an inspection fee.”

Kerley said he thinks it might go a long way toward stopping landlords from renting substandard property.

He also suggested requiring landlords to have their own Dumpsters.

This is a particular problem, because some landlords throw out items left behind by former residents and leave it for the city to pick up at the edge of the property.

The city’s street department is still picking up such items for $20 a load, though Mayor Chris Mason said he sent word by City Clerk Angie Skidmore for Street Department Supervisor Darrell “Drack” Langley to stop the practice.

“They throw Bibles, family pictures,” Kerley added. “If they clean a house out like that, you should require them to have a Dumpster. They go in and clear it out and dump it in the yard,” Kerley said.

Officials said they are losing money picking up the refuse like that on call.