Al Jazeera targets state's landlord/tenant laws and condemned SW Little Rock apartments | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Al Jazeera targets state's landlord/tenant laws and condemned SW Little Rock apartments

Posted By on Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 3:36 PM


Al Jazeera A
merica has an excellent piece on the plight of tenants at the Alexander Apartments on Colonel Glenn Road in Southwest Little Rock, where destitute residents are facing eviction due to the dismal condition of the property. The property owner, Jason Bolden, has failed to keep the apartments up to a minimum standard of habitability, according to the city.

In December, we reported that the city condemned the apartment complex and gave tenants one week to vacate their homes after a fire department and code enforcement inspection found "hazards in this apartment complex [that] represent an immediate threat to the occupants." The tenants, and the landlord, took the city to court, and a judge granted a temporary restraining order, saying that the sudden closure would cause irreparable harm to tenants.

The tenants were placed in the unfortunate position of siding with Bolden to avoid eviction — even though Bolden's negligence in keeping up the property is what led to the condemnation in the first place.

That's in part because Arkansas renters have no recourse when their landlord doesn't maintain the property, as Al Jazeera explains. Unlike most states, Arkansas doesn't require a minimum standard of habitability with which to hold landlords accountable. So, if a rental unit is condemned because it's unsafe? Tough luck for the renter.

The news station speaks to UALR law professor Lynne Foster, whose struggle to improve the state's rental laws we've profiled before. "It's like if you go to the store and buy some food, you buy it under the assumption that this is going to be edible food. We're the only state that doesn't have anything like that. ... If the landlord doesn't make the promise in the lease, the landlord has no duty whatsoever to keep the premises in good repair," Foster told Al Jazeera. 

Al Jazeera also interviews Neil Sealy, an organizer with Arkansas Community Organizations, which has been working with the residents at the Alexander Apartments. "I think if renters had the right to withhold their rent if repairs aren't made, to terminate a lease, or to take a landlord to court, it'd be so much easier for the city here to maintain property and keep it up to standard," he tells the reporter Christof Putzel.

Putzel then tries to talk to Jason Bolden. The landlord walks away from the camera and refuses to comment.

click to enlarge NO COMMENT: A reporter seeks a comment from landlord Jason Bolden, without success. - AL JAZEERA AMERICA
  • AL JAZEERA AMERICA
  • NO COMMENT: A reporter seeks a comment from landlord Jason Bolden, without success.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Benjamin Hardy

  • Senate bill imperils rural health care, hospital leaders warn

    In the four years since Arkansas chose to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, Harris Medical Center in Newport has seen its “bad debt” — bills left unpaid by patients — cut in half. Eight percent of the 133-bed hospital’s patients fell into the bad debt category in 2013, the year before Arkansas created the hybrid Medicaid expansion program known as the private option (later rebranded by Governor Hutchinson as “Arkansas Works”). Today, that figure is 4 percent, according to Harris Medical Center CEO Darrin Caldwell.
    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Beyond repeal of Obamacare

    The proposed Medicaid cuts in the new U.S. Senate bill could impact coverage for 400,000 Arkansas children.
    • Jun 29, 2017
  • Study: Arkansas tops nation for percentage of rural children on Medicaid

    Almost two-thirds of children in Arkansas’s small towns and rural areas receive health care coverage through Medicaid, according to a report released Wednesday by researchers at Georgetown University and the University of North Carolina — the highest percentage of any state in the nation.
    • Jun 7, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Saturday open line

    • Had dinner in the River Market tonight. Drove past the state Capitol on the way…

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: Saturday open line

    • Wannabe, the thing about criticism of people who served, were captured, survived, shouldn't be done…

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: Saturday open line

    • I'm thinking of writing a book myself. "The Art of Using the Urinal by the…

    • on July 22, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation