Rental Responsibilities for Landlords & Tenants

Rental Responsibilities for Landlords & Tenants
By: Crystal Britt

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Recently Heartland News showed you how some local investors hope to clean up Cape Girardeau, one building at a time.  
If you drive around downtown Cape, it won't take long to see the city's got a long way to go.  A lot of the problems exist on residential streets.  You might have one landlord working his tail off to make his property look great, while the other doesn't make any efforts to maintain. 
Crystal Kitchen is a renter. "Kind of not had the best luck with some landlords," said Kitchen. 
In a matter of hours she's moving out of her current home and into another.  She says the house has too many problems.
"No screens in the windows for the children's safety."
Plus, she says there are a host of issues in the bathroom. "You don't have a landlord that wants to put an air conditioning in or window units," said Kitchen. 
On the flip side: "You have to be stern with the people, you've gotta follow the rules.  Go by the law," said Bob Weiss. Weiss is a landlord. He owns an apartment and two rental homes downtown.
We found him as we followed around Cape's Nuisance Abatement Supervisor looking for property violations.  We found a lot of trash outside one of Weiss' rentals.
"It's a problem sometimes. It doesn't happen often but more than it should," said Weiss. 
Weiss is stuck cleaning up the mess, even though officer Ty Metzger says it's the tenants' responsibility.
It's a constant battle between the police, the tenants and the property owners.
"As long as they pay their rent on time I maintain it.  If they don't pay I don't have the money to maintain it," said Weiss. 
Renter Crystal Kitchen says, "The home, if you're going to rent them out, make sure they live up to your standards for your families to live in not just stick someone in because you're going to make $700, $800, or $900 off them," Kitchen said.
"They've gotta do their part, and I've gotta do my part," Weiss said. 
As for citations, police will issue warnings then give time for the tenants or landlords to clean up their act.  If they don't, they face court and fines. 
As for tenants, if your landlord's not doing his or her job, file a complaint with the city at the inspections department or with the police.