The city of New Castle now has the tools to capture some money from landlords delinquent on their property taxes.
City council adopted an ordinance Thursday allowing the city to collect rent from tenants who live in dwellings in which the owners are delinquent on their taxes.
Under the ordinance, tenants living in tax-delinquent properties will be sent notices informing them to pay their monthly rent to the city. Tenants failing to comply will be subject to a penalty of $500 for each month they fail to pay.
Council also approved a three-year contract with solicitor Jason Medure to perform the collection work. He will paid 15 percent of the fees collected.
Medure said after the meeting that he expects to begin the process of collecting next month. He said he has experience in such collections, pointing out that he implemented a collection process for the New Castle Sanitation Authority from November 2003 to March 2014.
A state law passed in 1945 allows municipalities to pursue delinquent landlords through this process.
City resident Pat Schwoeble brought the law to council’s attention last year.
Councilman Tim Fulkerson said, “I’m glad we moved on this in a very timely manner. It’s great for the city to do this.”
He also said that he checked other municipalities and found that Medure’s fee is about half of what other collectors charge.