Pearl rental property owners trial date set - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Pearl rental property owners trial date set

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
PEARL, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Three rental property owners in Pearl who face criminal charges from the city made their initial appearance in court Tuesday. They are fighting a rental ordinance requiring them to register every individual apartment unit or pay fines.

Attorney Steve Smith, who represents the property owners, says the ordinance is unlawful and unconstitutional.

This ordinance went into affect in 2014 and the owners fee is $25 dollars per unit. 

However, since property owners missed the deadline, each day that an apartment is not registered, it is a $300 dollar fine.

Some apartments now owe thousands of dollars in late fees.

City officials say they created the ordinance to fight urban blight, but Steve Smith, who represents the property owners says the ordinance was never needed.

"All of the apartment properties, like all other properties are registered with the tax assessor, they are registered with the tax collector and everybody's deed is registered with the courthouse so there's no sense and no real lawful purpose to have any apartment complex registered," Smith explained.

Smith has filed a preliminary injunction in federal court to keep Pearl from enforcing this ordinance until trial. 

Trial date for two properties is set for June 2nd. for the other property owner is July 26th. 

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