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landlord helpLouisville, Kentucky’s city government chose a unique way to punish landlords with vacant properties:  threatening to publish their names and addresses in a local newspaper as a means of “shaming” these property owners into paying outstanding fines assessed by the city for property maintenance issues.

The city claims it is owed over $17 million in fines that it assessed, but is unable to collect from property owners that officials have dubbed “absentee landlords”.  The Council approved a budget of $20,000 to take out a full-page advertisement in a local newspaper in order to embarrass the landlords.  A list of some of the top offenders, along with some resident addresses was released and published on the Internet.  Those listed owe over $12,000 in fines, and many owe in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Representatives claim that problems with vacant properties draw funds away from other projects, and that the city is already facing budget problems. Many of the homes were foreclosures and are owned by banks.  One representative indicated that the list is comprised of investors who “service mortgages all over the country” and don’t care about Louisville, or the unkept look of the properties.  There were no local banks listed.

A warning was issued in an attempt to motivate investors to pay up.  It is not known at this time whether the measure was effective.

See Anti-Landlord Law Hits Snag.

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  • Dennis Smith

    Could you tell us the day and name of the paper in which the city of Louisville Kentucky place it add? I would like to look at the list for obvious reasons.

    Thank You,
    Dennis Smith

  • Kim

    Hi Dennis,
    The list is available online, too: http://wave.images.worldnow.com/images/pdf/PropertyViolators.pdf

  • [email protected]

    Slander potential against the city is certainly a consideration regardless of whether or not they publish anything specifically untrue. The city is doing this for the explicit purpose of “shaming” the business owner so they are already setting up an adversarial condition to impact and effect the market value of the property. Not a smart move by a bunch of municipal bureaucrats. Creating a civil liability on the part of the taxpayers in their region sounds like a malfeasance by abrogating their duty to protect and defend the public interest against claims. Indeed, to the contrary, they have explicitly and knowingly created the claim potential with this sort of “shaming” which is intended to hurt the reputation of landlord. Very bad behavior by public officials.

  • Anthony

    That’s Kentucky for you! Yeah this seems a little silly; from a practical standpoint I would figure it difficult to shame a shady landlord!

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