Feb 22 2008

Does anyone know what this article is about? It seems mostly devoid of information.


Too bad they didn't do a

Too bad they didn't do a good follow-up to the meeting. It would be nice to know what actually got discussed. The articles leading up to the meeting gave an idea as to what problems they are trying to resolve.

In an effort to reduce illegal activities and nuisances on rental properties in Alcoa, the Alcoa Police Department is holding a "landlord meeting" for landlords, property owners and property managers today.

She [Holly Hatcher, director of community policing for Alcoa Police Department]

said the following topics are on the agenda for discussion at the meeting: drug violations and prostitution in rental homes, the responsibility of property owners within current state laws and city ordinances, stopping unlawful activity and nuisances, the benefits of cooperation and the consequences for non-cooperation.

Oh, missed that. Thanks.

Oh, missed that. Thanks.

Yes, it would have been nice if the article actually, you know, reported what was discussed regarding landlord rights and responsibilities and what neighborhoods can do to address those problems.

For example, I thought it was illegal to discriminate when renting. I thought you had to have a specific reason to not rent to someone, other than you just don't like them or you have suspicions about them.

I wonder if that was explained, in terms of how landlords can be held responsible and what they can legally do to make sure they are renting to responsible people?

Just yesterday I called

Just yesterday I called about an apartment I saw advertised in the DT. The lady who took my call was very polite until I told her I was calling for my 25 year old son. She quickly let me know she could not help me as she rented to only older people. I was a little shocked at first, but gathered my wits and said, "Ma'am isn't it illegal to discriminate because of age?" She said nothing but I told her she'd have no problem from me but she should choose her words more wisely in the future.
My son would not want to live with senior citizens all around, but I was surprised at her lack of concern or knowledge of discrimination laws.
Maybe I am wrong and the law allows this. I am not knowledgeable about housing laws.
I should have told her his name was DeShon Hernandez and really got a rise out of her.
Maybe these meetings will raise awareness as to what the laws are and how they should be followed.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Just browsing through the

Just browsing through the State of TN laws, age was left out of housing discrimination (private, not necessarily public housing). Age was included in most other discimination issues.

I'm not a lawyer and don't pretend to be one.

Tennessee Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

The Tennessee Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
may give some guidance as to discrimination issues but as you can see from the excerpt below the Act only applies to counties with more than 68,000 per the 2000 census, as I read it.

TCA § 66-28-102. Application. —

(a) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (a)(2), the provisions of this chapter are applicable only in counties having a population of more than sixty-eight thousand (68,000) according to the 1970 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

In any event, the Act can be found at

For those unfamiliar with finding items in the Code, click on the Tennessee box, go to Title 66, Chapter 28, and my apologies for those who already know how to do this.

I do not know if Blount exceeded the population of 68,000 in 2000, but I doubt it, as the smaller counties tend to find a way to opt of these laws . . .

Blount (5th Judicial District) did not even have its local rules of court online in pdf form until 2007 as I remember having to trek to the justice center to obtain a copy.

Most other judicial districts were way ahead in this regard. I can only hope that the trend continues toward easier access by the public and attorneys and the media toward the judicial system in Blount County as promised by Mayor Cunningham (explicitly or implicitly) in his State of the County address to the Chamber of Commerce.


Have a great day!

Thomas F. Mabry
P. O. Box 52385
Knoxville, TN 37950

Fax 1-888-215-3119
Phone 1-865-671-0598

Welcome back, Mr. M!

Haven't seen you here in a while. I always enjoy it when you join in, having begun to think of you as our walking/talking...ahem...typing legal library. Nice to 'see' you!

It's not about discrimination.

I'm not sure you all understand what's going on here. This information is not intented to descriminate for potential renters. This is in reference to the number of drug and prostitution houses in Alcoa that are rental homes. Receiving complaint after complaint for police to respond to the same house over and over again for the same problem, is a waste of taxpayers money. Not to mention a detriment to the community in which it is located. It's explaining that you can't just blame the renters, but also the owners for turning their eyes to illegal activity just to make a buck. The owner of the property has legal recourse to begin eviction through the courts before it becomes such a nuisance for neighbors who own the property that they live in and want a peaceful, quiet and safe neighborhood. Many of these houses are delapidated, roach infested houses, that personally I would not like to live next to. They also attract traffic at all hours of the night and bring in all types of people who end up breaking into the houses, vehicles, etc. of hard-working, law abiding citizens. So, don't make is sound as though this is some sort of discrimination because it's not. We're not talking about a rental house in St. Ives and the landlord is asking what color the renters skin is or what language they speak. Please don't make it into something that it's not.

I was just making a

I was just making a statement. I did not mean to insinuate that any type of discrimination was going on with these landlords.
Yes I understand what the meetings are about and think it's a good thing. I know what goes on in these neighborhoods. I have been a renter many years and raised two children as a single parent. I have lived in some of these areas.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

That was exactly my point.

That was exactly my point. The newspaper article did not mention what the problems were, nor did it offer any solutions.

Having owned a rental property before, I know it's a big problem for landlords, neighbors, and the neighborhood when you get a bad renter. I also know that most are hard working folks who pay their bills and take care of the property and are good citizens of their community and that it's only a few bad apples that create problems.

My point was, sincerely, it would have been constructive for the newspaper to be clearer about what kinds of problems landlords and neighborhoods are having and how to avoid them while walking the fine line of NOT illegally or unfairly discriminating. I would seriously like to know some tips on that.

I applaud Alcoa, the Alcoa PD, and community leaders for coming together to work on the problem, and I feel for the Alcoa PD having to deal with this stuff every day, day in and day out, and appreciate what they do.

I'm guessing there was some good information presented at the meeting. It might have been helpful if the newspaper had reported some of that for a wider audience. If anyone has copies of any of the handouts or presentations I'd be happy to post them here.

Sorry for jumping the gun

I apologize for jumping the gun. I agree that the DT did not print much of a story. Then again, that's not uncommon for them or any other newspaper for that matter. I suppose I was being a little too defensive. Again, I apologize.

Oh no, dear. Don't feel

Oh no, dear. Don't feel badly. I like to add a liitle something different sometimes just to stir things up or add a different view.
Glad you are here to add to the mix at BV.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

Wire Reports