New senate bill could affect area rental properties

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- If you live in an apartment, your rent is probably due on the first of the month.

However, if you get behind on your rent, a new law taking effect on July 1 could have a big impact on area rental properties.

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Almost everyone who lives here in Starkville’s Cotton District is a renter.

In fact, the city of Starkville and Oktibbeha County are filled with apartments and houses to rent.

Senate Bill 2716 goes into effect next week.

The new law is supposed to help landlords across the state collect their rent more efficiently.

However, some area landowners are a little skeptical.

Dan Camp is the force behind the Cotton District and the owner of the Cotton District Rental Properties.

He’s been in the real estate business for 50 years now and said he’s in favor of Senate Bill 2716.

“From a landowners standpoint, it’s a very good bill. It allows us to expedite the situation,” said Camp.

In the past, Camp said once a tenant is served an eviction notice, he or she is given a court date. After that court date, the judge will most likely give the tenant several weeks or even months to leave the apartment or rental property.

Camp said sometimes this time period can be too long for a business trying to turn a profit.

“Otherwise they’d have 90 days, or in some cases 180 days, of free rent. That’s not good… It affects us by not collecting that particular piece of properties rent…The banknote keeps on going even if you don’t collect the rent,” said Camp.

The new bill will help speed up the eviction process, giving the landowner permission to force tenants out sooner, sometimes within a matter of days.

However, Camp said this is up to the Judge and Sheriff of each county to enforce.

“The bill can say all of these elaborate things that it wants to, but if you don’t have anybody willing to serve it, then you are up the creek without a paddle, so the saying goes,” said Camp.

Camp said his business will most likely not be affected by the new bill, but he said he’ll keep his eye on it in case it comes in handy later.

“We really hadn’t had a problem. So, for those that would have a problem, yeah. I could see how that would be helpful… You should review who you’re renting to first of all. Make an application out, and check the application out to see if they’re worthy of living in your properties,” said Camp.

The new bill is set to take effect on July 1.

For more information on Senate Bill 2716, click here.