Akron’s eviction crisis plays out in a small municipal courtroom in the Stubbs Justice Center downtown. Four days a week a magistrate hears from both sides--when they show up.
Magistrate Tania Nemer listens to tenants when they appear, and landlords like Jack Neiman of Exchange Builders. He has about 30 rental units. One tenant has been behind on the $425 a month rent since July. The woman owes Neiman nearly $2,400.
Neiman says landlords are often made to be the villains, but eviction is hard on them too. "I just have a lot less income and still have all the same bills," Neiman said. "When the tenant moves out and it costs you $300, $400, or $500 to clean up the house or apartment and re-rent it."
The municipal court is reviewing eviction procedures, considering amending one rule and adding a new rule that would allow eviction records to be sealed in some instances, something Neiman opposes. "You’ll have no idea whether a guy has a history of not paying rent," Neiman said.
The public can comment on the proposed changes through January 17th.