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LEE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — Two Lee County cities have adopted new rental housing code ordinances.

Property owners in Guntown and Saltillo who rent housing units to the public will now have to now register their property and undergo yearly inspections.

“The main thing that we are looking for is to make sure that families that live here in Saltillo, individuals that live here in Saltillo have a safe place to live,” said Saltillo Mayor Rex Smith.

“People not taking care of their property and you end up with high crime in those areas. And Guntown is a nice little pretty town and we’re trying to make the entire city look the same,” said Guntown Mayor Bud Herring.

“And helps make a safer environment for tenants to live in and then also on the landlords it hopefully will make their properties worth more,” said Saltillo Zoning Administrator Brian Grissom.

Saltillo landlords must pay a $50 fee for homes and $25 for duplexes. In Guntown it’s $20 per house. Plus there is a fine of some $300 if they don’t comply by fixing up their property. For now, property owners WCBI spoke with are welcoming the change.

“If you are a landlord and you don’t take care of your property you don’t deserve to be a a landlord. And its hard to get rid of a bad renter,” said Saltillo landlord Brock Pope.

It appears that with the enforcement of the new housing codes, everyone seems to be benefiting.

“For the health welfare and safety of the people of Guntown,” said Herring.

There is a $350 fine if Saltillo property owners don’t comply by fixing up their property; a $300 fine in Guntown.

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