In an effort to collect $2 million in unpaid garbage bills, Erie City Council has proposed an ordinance, that would force landlords to be current on their fees.
On Wednesday night, city council met for a first reading of that ordinance. Under the amendment, landlords that have not paid their garbage bills will not be able to rent properties.
Erie City Councilman Kaz Kwitowski says that it comes down to the personal responsibility of the landlord.
"The good landlords put the bills all together in the rent and the tenant pays for it," said Kwitowski. "To blame tenants, it's ultimately their responsibility because the property is in their name."
Erie City Councilman Bob Merski also supports this ordinance.
"You can't make a profit off of city property without paying your bills to the city," said Merski. "That's what this ordinance does. It closes that loophole."
Meanwhile, Erie Apartment Association President Joel Miller says it's just another amendment to the city's rental inspection program, and says adding more qualifications to get a rental license isn't fair to all landlords.
Miller says that they should combine the water, sewer, and garbage bills.
"They're either going to pay the bill or not pay the bill," said Miller. "If they don't pay the bill, they're going to get an unpaid water bill and an unpaid water bill means the water can be shut off and consequently the trash bill also gets paid."
City council members are expected to vote on the ordinance on April 2.