By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The city’s rental permit program may have added teeth next year.

Development Services Department Director BJ Teal said Tuesday she plans to ask the City Council to amend Tupelo’s rental permit program to fine landlords for each month they are delinquent in paying an annual $25 registration fee.

Teal asked the council during a work session to allow her department to levy a $10-per-month, per-unit late fee on each landlord that does not pay the annual unit fee before Oct. 30, 2013.

She said the amendment will clarify that registrations expire on Sept. 30, giving the landlords 30 days to pay the annual registration fee before they are found delinquent.

Under the newly updated rental permit program, the city collected about $93,000 from landlords in October and November.

Teal told the board that while that number is up greatly from their previous collection record of $14,000, it is still more than $30,000 short of what is owed.

The amended ordinance, she said, would make sure all landlords are being treated fairly and provide a hard date for collecting fees.

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