Fines possible for landlords without proof of garbage service

Published 8:21 pm Saturday, February 4, 2017

Landlords in Selma that have not provided proof of garbage service for their tenants could start being cited and fined this week.

The deadline for landlords to provide proof of garbage service and verification for all tenants for the city of Selma was Friday, Feb. 3.

Sean VanDiver, public works director, said only a few landlords adhered to the city’s request.

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“Unfortunately, we don’t think all of them reported, and we will be moving forward starting next week reviewing the garbage service suspended list,” VanDiver said. “We will be getting with the magistrate’s office to move forward with citing the landlords who have not complied.”

According to city ordinance, landlords are responsible for making sure tenants have signed up for garbage service prior to executing a lease. If proof is provided, the tenant is responsible for paying for garbage service, and if not, then the landlord will be held responsible.

“About 54 percent of the city actually rents, so there’s a lot of people renting from landowners,” VanDiver said.

The city asked all landlords to report by Feb. 3 in an effort to make sure people are abiding by the city ordinance, which requires all households to have garbage service with the city’s garbage collector.

“We had maybe three [landlords] that showed up, and they had multiple properties that they owned,” VanDiver said. “That’s it so far.”

He said the public works department will move forward starting Monday by looking at an updated list of households with suspended service, so they can identify which landlords or tenants need to be cited.

“We still have to go to the magistrate’s office and come up with the proper process of how they want to handle it, whether we’re going to try to get one day of court for the magistrate’s office to handle trash because we don’t want to flood the courtroom,” VanDiver said.

VanDiver said it is disappointing that more landlords did not comply with the city’s request.

“It is disappointing. We hope that everybody cares about the outlook of the city and cleaning up the city,” VanDiver said.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get the participation that we were hoping for voluntarily, and we have to move forward in enforcing the ordinance that we have on the books.”

Landlords could be fined anywhere from $50 to $200.

Two weeks ago at a work session for the city council, Mayor Darrio Melton said Sea Coast is on the “verge of not being able to collect” for the city due to residents not paying for service and some not even signing up.

Advanced Disposal had those same issues when they collected garbage for the city. VanDiver said the city does not want to end up in the same situation they were in with Advanced, so he encourages all residents to comply with city ordinances. Anyone with questions or concerns can call the public works office at (334) 874-2106. Calls to Sea Coast seeking information on how many households are on the suspended list were not returned.