Warren Mayor Jim Fouts promises jail time during bad landlord crackdown

Fouts drafting proposal for City Council

By Larry Spruill - Reporter

WARREN, Mich. - Warren Mayor Jim Fouts is promising to crack down after residents of  an apartment complex were forced to endure horrible conditions. 

Burst pipes caused water issues throughout the building and no heat in the units. 

Fouts says he will get tough on bad landlords.

"Instead of community service or a fine, you now have a jail sentence  for up to 90 days,” Fouts said. 

The mayor said he receives a lot of calls about landlords who aren't fixing issues in the homes they own.

“Frankly I get an increasing numbers of tenants who call up and say, 'Mayor Fouts, I have a situation where I have back up, where my bathtub or sink has raw sewage coming out of it. I have rats coming in the home and my landlord won’t do anything about it.'"

Fouts said the problems doesn’t stop there. That’s because when the city tries to located the landlord, they run into dead ends.

“A number of these landlords don’t live in the city. They may not even live in the state,” Fouts said.

Fouts said he wants the city to get tougher with bad rental property owners. That’s why he is drafting up a proposal to City Council. The new ordinance will force bad landlords to serve jail time. 

The proposal will make it a misdemeanor for anyone to rent out homes without a city-issued license, use false information on the rental application or fail to keep up the rental property.

“We don’t want a P.O. box -- we want the name of the person, we want the address and phone number, and we’re also requiring that that person responsible lives 50 miles of the city. I think this will go a long way towards helping and stabilize and maintain the property of Warren,” Fouts said.

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