New Renter Law Gives Hope

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A new state rental law is now making some local landlords and tenants rethink their current business situation.

Some tenants in Level Plains say they are living in terrible conditions and they want change to come soon. They are hoping this new rental law that went into effect on the first will help them out, but as News Four investigates, this could be a lesson for us all.

The Coggin family says they are living in unsafe conditions. The ceiling fan shows electrical wires and is poorly mounted. The bathtub leaks underneath the house, and there are many exposed wires all along the house. They hope the new rental law will help.

"I can't really afford to move right now, so all I have to do is bite my tongue, come back home and deal with it," said Mike Coggins, a resident.

But their landlord, who wanted to be called “Mrs. Snellgrove,” says she had no idea about some of the conditions and have repaired all of their requests.

The Coggins signed their lease stating they would "make repairs" in replace of their $250 security deposit. Any additional work done to the house would be taken out of their rent money. The Coggins said that's not happening.

"It's always been an agreement that before her song got leukemia he would do the maintenance around here. Once he was diagnosed, it's been her daughter and her husband doing the work. If you've got a problem, you tell them and they come fix it," said Terri Nielsen, a resident.

"Mrs. Snellgrove has definitely agreed to anything that needed to be done. We don't expect people to live in bad situations. I wouldn't put my kids in a bad situation, and I wouldn't put their kids in it," said Douglas Dean, a maintenance worker.

Under the new law, both renters and landlords are protected. It states the landlord must provide a dwelling that meets standards such as supplying proper electric, plumbing, heating and air conditioning.

The landlord gets a shorter eviction period.

As far as the Snellgrove property in Level Plains, both parties are planning to contact the sheriff to see what needs to be done

In this particular case there wasn't much documentation besides the generic lease agreement. Both parties say they've learned to not take business at people's word and get everything in writing.

If you would like more information on the new rental law, go to