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Athens City Council meets on the Tuesday after Labor Day, Sept. 6, 2022.

City Council: Pay-to-Stay ordinance is passed

Athens City Council met Monday to discuss the pay-to-stay ordinance, which the body recently voted to reconsider. 

The ordinance would allow tenants to have a defense in court during an eviction hearing and possibly stop their eviction if they pay the full amount owed in rent plus any late fees.

Alan McMillan, member of Cranberry Row LLC, said the council should vote no on the ordinance. 

“What landlords want is for both parties on a lease to fulfill their obligation and nothing more,” McMillan said. “If we speak about eviction, one party didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.”

McMillan said no one on council has provided any statistics showing how often eviction is happening in Athens and believes if the body had looked at the numbers, it would be hard pressed to vote yes on the ordinance.  

Wren Edwards, speaking on behalf of the United Athens County Tenants (UACT), said she supported the passing of the ordinance. 

Councilman Alan Swank, D-4th Ward, said the body should send the ordinance back to committees to write an ordinance that protects both the tenants and the interests of those who own the property. 

Councilman Jeffrey Risner, D-2nd Ward, said he didn’t see any advantage in sending the ordinance back to committees and recommended that the body vote on the ordinance.

The body voted on the ordinance, and it ultimately passed. 


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