Mississippi town considers regulating rental properties – FOX13 News Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If you’re looking for a rental home you know how expensive the market is right now.
In Southaven, the mayor said estimates are that 35% of the city’s single-family homes are rental properties.
He said many of those homes are owned and rented by out-of-town investment companies.
FOX13 took a look at what the city may do to regulate the rental business.
The city of Southaven is looking into the possibility of putting together a rental registry because of the increasing number of investment companies coming in and buying up single-family homes.
Mayor Darren Musselwhite told us that numbers-wise some of the rental properties in the city are magnets for blight and for crime because they are managed by companies from out of state that doesn’t keep them up.
Homeowner Lori Buckley thinks setting up a system to keep tabs on rentals is a good idea.
“People need to be responsible when they move into a rental, and I have seen some bad stuff in our neighborhood where they don’t take care of the houses,” Buckley said.
The city is looking at possibly charging $100 to $200 a year on property registration and that money would go toward code enforcement on the property.
Jadie Crouch Jr.’s family owns a house.
”They should do that already, shouldn’t they? I mean a rental home should be inspected by someone a register or someone who checks it,” Crouch said.
One Southaven homeowner who didn’t want to be on camera told us he doesn’t like rental homes in his neighborhood, but at the same time, he didn’t think the registry would help.
A renter who didn’t want to go on camera told us she thought the registry would force her landlord to keep her place up.
“And even the owners don’t take care of the houses so yeah maybe it is a good idea,” Buckley said.
One realtor who we talked to told us that the investment companies coming in and buying up homes are driving up rent across Desoto County.
“I really started seeing it three to four years ago where the investment companies and several big ones bought thousands of houses in DeSoto County,” said Realtor Mark Gardner.
Gardner told us he has several people in his office every week looking for help finding affordable rentals.
A check on the internet found houses for rent in Southaven with three bedrooms and two baths, on average for as much as $1,800 a month.
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“Sometimes rents are going up to $300, $400 and even $500 a month for some of these houses, and typically moderate-sized houses and it’s just driving up the market all around,” Gardner said.
Gardner said he understands why investors are targeting DeSoto County so heavily.
“Investment companies realize that people want to live here whether they are renting or owning,” Gardner said.
While some would advise people not to sell out to the investment companies, Gardner said in many cases the investment company makes an offer that outbids other possible homeowners.
“An investment company comes in and offers you $20,000 over list price, what are you going to do? What are your neighbors going to do?” Gardner said.
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