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Mess left for landlord

A bill advancing at the Capitol seeks to make it cheaper and easier for landlords to evict tenants. One Saline county landlord shares her experience with a bad renter.

BENTON (KATV) -

A proposal to make it easier and cheaper for landlords to evict renters is half way to Governor Hutchinson's desk.

One Saline county woman thinks that is a good idea.

Senate Bill 25 seeks to reinstate Arkansas' criminal eviction statute...meaning failure to pay rent could result in jail time.

Marsha Fleming doesn't want to see tenants jailed...but she says something needs to change.

A fridge inside one of Fleming’s Benton homes has been without power for well over a month as Fleming tried to get access to her rental property.

She expects she will have to throw it out.

"How long had you been trying to get them out?"

"It took me about two months to get them out," says Fleming, who co-owns Dorman Properties with her husband.

"How often when you come into a place like this is this what you find?"

"Well...45 rental properties,” ponders Fleming. “Probably about a third of the time this is what I find."

And what Fleming often finds when tenants get behind on rent and then leave her properties is a mess.

She still doesn't know what happened. She liked the woman who lived here for about a year with her disabled adult son. In fact the pair moved to the $450.00 a month property from another one of Fleming's rentals.

In December the tenant stopped paying rent. And changed the locks. And then abandoned the property.

"I know a lot of landlords,” says Fleming. “We all experience the same thing. It is very much not just all about the poor tenants. The poor landlords spend lots of money to put them back to where they would live in them themselves to have them destroyed again. And it is very discouraging. But you have to just keep on doing it."

Fleming says it will cost at least $2,000.00 to prepare her property for another tenant.

Couple that with several months of lost rent and property taxes and Fleming says she will lose money on this property this year.

Senate Bill 25 easily passed the Senate.

It is scheduled to be heard by the House Insurance and Commerce committee on Wednesday.

Air date: January 31st, 2017

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