Petition circulating asking Waynesboro City Council to consider a rent inspection program

WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) – In Waynesboro, Va., the organization is calling for solidarity among tenants.

A petition is circulating asking the city council to consider a rent inspection program. The goal is to prevent property deterioration, unsafe living conditions and neighborhood decline.

“We’re seeing a lot of landlord neglect, which is the other side of the imbalance where people need a place to live, and there aren’t a lot of places to live in Waynesboro,” said said Nora Scott of Virginia Organizing.

This inspection would be the responsibility of the owner.

“If their property doesn’t meet that inspection, it has to be re-inspected for a period of time and like they can’t just rent if they don’t maintain their property,” Scott said.

Scott said too often renters, especially those with kids or bad credit, end up living in places with mold or broken appliances. They said tenants should know their rights.

“I feel like a lot of tenants right now don’t feel like they can engage in potentially predatory actions on the part of their landlord. They’re worried that if they say anything either or if they make a complaint, their landlord holds them back when they ask for a different accommodation,” Scott said.

A group of organizers went door-to-door asking about renting in Waynesboro, Scott said, and some told stories of poor living conditions. Others said their situation was good.

Either way, they said it was important to learn the details.

“We should care about what happens to our neighbors because it affects us whether we think it or not. You may be having a good time with the landlord you have now, but you move to another location in Waynesboro, and that could change,” Scott said.

To sign the petition or to learn more, visit the Virginia Organizing website.

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