Tennant Leaves Landlord with More than 1,000 Used Tires – UnderhoodService
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Tennant Leaves Landlord with More than 1,000 Used Tires

A former Cemetery Road resident has left with cash in his pocket, his landlord with a debt to pay and a whole lot of tires. Victoria Kildow rents out land off Cemetery Road. She discovered last year that one of her tenants was getting paid by a person in town to haul away used tires and dispose of them. But instead of disposing of the tires properly, he was simply stacking them in the woods on Kildow’s property. Now, with more than 1,000 tires dumped along the roadside and ….

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(Ottumwa.com – Iowa) A former Cemetery Road resident has left with cash in his pocket, his landlord with a debt to pay and a whole lot of tires.

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Victoria Kildow rents out land off Cemetery Road. She discovered last year that one of her tenants was getting paid by a person in town to haul away used tires and dispose of them.

But instead of disposing of the tires properly, he was simply stacking them in the woods on Kildow’s property.

Now, with more than 1,000 tires dumped along the roadside and in the back timbers, the tenant has taken off and has left Kildow to clean up the mess.

“When he first started bringing them down here, I told him that he couldn’t keep them here. He said he had a guy that was supposed to come down and get them. Then when I went back down to check on it, there were even more [tires] and he said the guy who was supposed to get them died. But, he promised to get rid of them,” Kildow said. “I told him then, that if these tires were not removed from the property, I would not renew his rent for the following month.”

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At that point it was “get rid of the tires or get out,” Kildow said.

But her former tenant took off, leaving the mess in her hands.

Wapello County Supervisor Jerry Parker was made aware of Kildow’s tire issue more than a month ago.

Parker said when he first did a walk-through of the property, just around the ditches, he found several dozen tires. But, a couple days later he went through the woods with an official from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and that’s when they discovered the more than 1,000 tires throughout the timbers.

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“I couldn’t believe it,” Parker said. “And 1,000 is just an estimate, there might have been more.”

Parker said he received notice from the DNR stating Kildow has until Jan. 6, 2009, to have the tires removed from the property and the hazard cleaned up before a fine will be enforced.

The cost, Parker estimates, could be a couple thousand dollars to have the tires removed, if done by the Wapello County Recycling Center.

“Their [cost is] by weight. Usually a tire weighs about 20 pounds, which means that about 100 tires equals a ton and it costs recycling $120 per ton to have the tires hauled away,” Parker said. “They have to be hauled away to an acceptable location. And if they are hauled away [by the recycling center] it will cost at least a couple dollars for each tire, plus the cost of hauling them out of the woods to the road for pick up.”

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But, he said the county has explored other options, so Kildow does not have to carry all of the financial burden.

“I first tried to see if the [Federal Emergency Management Agency] would come out and pick them up. But, they said they don’t pay for things like that,” he said.

However, another tenant, who lives at that location, offered to haul the tires away as a kind gesture.

“He said he would haul them away if the recycling center would take them,” Parker said.

The recycling center has agreed to take them. But it will still cost $1 per tire, since that’s the fee the center must pay the company that hauls their tires away.

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And as far as any county help, that’s not likely to happen.

“We don’t have any money budgeted to help out with this,” Parker said, adding that if the county gets involved with the cleanup, it would be added to the property owner’s taxes.

“In this case it complicates things because the woman who owns the property is not the one who is responsible for the tire mess,” he said.

“I’m extremely mad,” Kildow said. “I think this might be a scam with [the tenant] and I might not be the first person he’s done this to. I believe he knew it was illegal. He caused an environmental hazard and shouldn’t get away scot-free. [He’s responsible] and we shouldn’t be the ones that have to pay for it.”

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Kildow said she even has a contract that tenants must sign when they rent from her; one restriction: “You can’t use [the property] to store junk.”

She said while the tenant did sign the contract, Kildow will not pursue legal action because he is on disability and would not be able to pay for the costs she will incur.

“It would be pointless,” she said. “He’s on a fixed income and he wouldn’t be able to afford it, so I guess we’re just going to have to take care of it.”

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Parker said with the help of the other tenant and the county, along with cooperation from Kildow, he believes they will be able to get the property cleaned up in time, so no fine is assessed to the owner.

“I just want to make sure it is clear … the property owner is not responsible for the tires being there,” Parker said. “But, it is a nuisance and we are taking steps to try and get it cleaned up.”

Attempts to reach Kildow’s former tenant for comment were unsuccessful.

Courtesy of TIRE REVIEW Magazine.

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