Port Royal council proposes stiffer rules for rental properties - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Port Royal officials propose stiffer rules for rental properties

PORT ROYAL, SC (WTOC) -

Port Royal Town Council introduced a new proposal that they hope will make it easier to contact property managers and owners if problems arise at their property.

The proposal was introduced at their meeting on Jan. 9, and some people apposed it.

"I'm totally against this. Too much government, too much," said Sing Pappas, a realtor in Port Royal.

Pappas says the town does not need these rules to reach a property manager. She says all they have to do is "get on the internet."

"If they really want to reach someone, they can," Pappas said. "The tax collector can reach them if they have a bill, the sheriff's office can if they have to service a notice."

Mayor Samuel Murray said it's not that easy.

"We get complaints that we can't get in touch with whoever the property belongs to, and sometimes the owner lives out of town," Murray said. "If the grass is over growing it takes, sometimes, maybe a month to locate the right person, and the grass keeps growing."

The proposal will require property owners and managers to register all of their property with the town and they must be available to respond to an issue in person. There's also a point system to track the number of complaints a property has. If a property gets a certain number of complaints, the manager's licenses can be revoked.

"Why are they coming after us?" Sing asked. "We have a legally binding contract. It's the tenants responsibility. Why are they trying to fine us? Fine the people responsible."

Murray said he's willing to listen to the public and make some changes to the proposal, but he does want it to pass.

"According to what happens at tonight's public hearing, if we have to make some changes we will," said Murray.

The ordinance will go before the council for a final reading on Feb. 14.

Copyright 2013 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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