Nick McWilliams reporting – Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown expressed concerns on out-of-state landlords not maintaining properties during a recent conference call, with leaders from the Twin Cities offering their own thoughts on what’s becoming a growing issue.

Brown’s call referenced a current situation with VineBooks Homes Trust, Incorporated, which owns around 7,900 homes in Ohio. According to the senator, numerous complaints have been filed by tenants of some of the homes due to “neglectful ownership practices.”

The issue of landlords being absent in addressing concerns in homes or apartments is not exclusive to major cities, and has been a reoccurring issue recently in Uhrichsville, according to Mayor Mark Haney.

“It seems like there are more out-of-state buyers buying properties, unseen. And then, they’re basically just renting that out and not really caring about the upkeep and the issues that happen in our city.”

The Uhrichsville mayor said that there are plenty of quality landlords in the city, but a few who fail to meet the standard give them a bad name.

While the city has ordinances in place to help keep landlords accountable, Haney says that more needs to be done at the state and federal level to help fix the problem.

Dennison Mayor Greg DiDonato said that while their village does not have an overabundance of owners from other areas who have become problematic, issues have arisen from absent owners of properties, recently dealing with an uncooperative, out-of-state landlord.

“We do have an ordinance where they become a nuisance property, and we can charge the owner of the property. But it was just complicated to be able to do anything, get a response, or even track them down. It is a problem.”

DiDonato also wanted to see improvements in legislation that would allow municipalities to take action against problem tenants, who he says can present as many issues as landlords.

Brown noted the potential for failures in maintaining safe properties for tenants, along with a strain on cities who are left to deal with fallout from unlawful activity, unsanitary conditions, or exploited residents overpaying for rent, with out-of-state landlords who do not properly address leaseholder concerns.

Both Uhrichsville and Dennison are working to continue bolstering their ordinances in place to prevent tenant abuse, and praised the hard work of landlords who do their best to keep their property in good shape.

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