Our town, Columbia, Tennessee, is a great place to live.

That's what it says in the official, promotional video on the
City of Columbia official website.

There one may see footage of rolling hills, “amazing” antebellum homes,
recreational settings...teeming with wildlife...a pretty picture.

Many of us in Columbia own our own homes and raise our families in these
homes...and some of us have an extra residential property or two that we
rent to others of us who don't own a home...but just need a place to live.

And for most of us this is OK …
and whatever we want to do with our private property is up to us.

As American citizens we are pretty much the “lord” of any land we own.
We can build on it, live on it or rent it to anyone else we want.
In America this is a sovereign right.

We don't need any more government regulation telling us what we can
or can't do with our own properties.
That's just common sense.

That's why in Columbia, Tennessee, anyone who owns a residential
property in any neighborhood in the city...and wants to rent that property
has it pretty easy.

They are not required to have:
  • a Real Estate License...
  • a business license...
  • There are no professional, self-regulatory organizations...
  • There are no Codes of Professional Ethics...
  • No local or State regulatory agency provides oversight...
  • No agency inspects rental housing for unsafe wiring or faulty
  • Building Permits are not required for major interior deconstruction,      
    re-wiring, re-plumbing...
  • Rental landlords are not legally accountable in any way for the conduct
    of the tenants they rent to...
  • Rental landlords are not liable for injuries or damages to 3rd party
    neighbors as a result of tenant conduct or misconduct.
  • No vermin control is required...    
In fact there are barely any requirements  at all...

...And the least of concerns is the welfare of the actual rental tenant.

It's a good deal...

In Columbia local rental landlords have something called
Laissez Faire...
which is a fancy way of saying:
“You do whatever you want to do...”
“What you do is not really any of our business anyway...”

Laissez Faire is not an actual legal status.
It is what is termed a
De Facto status.
That means it's not really written down anywhere.
It's just what we do here in Columbia, Tennessee.

No-one in your local Government will be able to tell you why this is or upon
what precedent it is based.

It just "is."
And that's all you, the Citizen, really need to know about it.

But what happens when a business, such as a property rental business with
many houses to rent neglects multiple properties?
  • Lets many properties become trashy and covered with debris?
  • Devalues and degrades well-kept neighborhoods with more and more
    shabby rental properties rented by the RENT IT AND FORGET IT
    negligent landlord?

Does the City of Columbia, Public Policy of
Laissez Faire... “do as you will”
work in this scenario?

We, at www.TheGoverned.org want to show you how our Columbia
Tennessee City government has disregarded the concerns of an entire
segment of the community in deference to the financial profiteering of
another segment of the community.

Either through:
  • knowing and willful disregard,  
  • turning the official “blind eye,”
  • duplicitous misdirection
  • or just through sheer, inept incompetence the results are the same.

Many, many citizens of our town, Columbia, Tennessee, are having
  • their properties devalued,
  • their neighborhoods degraded,
  • their peace of mind imposed upon,
  • their very lives endangered
                as the result of the City of Columbia official or non-official Public
Policy of “Turning the blind eye” to offenses committed on a routine basis
by  businesses and corporations operated by local and out-of-town
residential rental landlords.

Page after page of our Tennessee Law-(the Tennessee Code Annotated-)
list procedure after procedure describing regulations, sanctions and
remedies for urban rental abuses by negligent, non-conforming rental

  • There are standards of property maintenance...
  • standards of conduct in regard to rental tenants....
  • requirements for landlords to keep their properties clean and safe...
  • registration of rental properties for regular safety and health code
  • substantial penalties, fines and license regulation for non-compliant
  • licensing standards which if not adhered to can result in rental
    privileges being denied.

  • The rights of adjacent property owners and neighbors to their
“peaceful enjoyment of their properties” is asserted.

  • There are provisions for penalties to be imposed upon negligent,
“non-conforming” rental landlords for abuses to rental tenants.
  • There are safeguards to protect against rental landlord's lack of regard
    toward adjacent property-owning neighbors...

...Then at the end of all these well-deliberated regulations provided by
Tennessee Law  is a one-line tag which says in effect:
"...but you can't do
any of this in Columbia, Tennessee"--TCA:13-21-314

...but you can't do any of this in Columbia, Tennessee

At least that's what our City Officials tell us at The Governed.org.

City of Columbia public officials tell us (at TheGoverned.org) that this one
little sentence in TCA 13-21-314 renders them powerless to control most
chronic abuses perpetrated by negligent rental property landlords in
Columbia, Tennessee.

City of Columbia public officials tell us Tennessee Law “does not permit”
City of Columbia local authorities to intervene to protect local citizens from
local, ongoing, chronic abuses and local property devaluation by local,
negligent, non-conforming rental landlords.

That is what your Columbia City Government officials and elected officials
tell us at TheGoverned.org.

People of Columbia:
The objective of this announcement is to alert you, the citizens of
Columbia, Tennessee, to the creeping, urban blight of your inner-city and
the disgraceful business practices of the men and women who prosper by
scavenging the distressed properties in your city...and the acquiescence of
your own City Government to these abuses.

We, at The Governed.org will demonstrate to you, the victims of these City
of Columbia Public Policies:

  • the systematic degradation of your city by Residential Rental
    Corporations who view your quality of life and the value of your
    property as mere commodities for their taking...
  • and -more importantly- we will demonstrate the complicity of your own
    Columbia City Government in fostering and enabling these practices.

Trust in this: Your neighborhood, negligent landlord of interest has no
intention of cleaning up his act nor his property as long as                
City of Columbia Public Officials continue their Public Policy of
systematically and negligently "Turning the Blind Eye" to these offenses.

And City of Columbia Public Officials, staff and City Council members have
no intention of opening their official Blind Eye, cleaning up
their act and
regulating our RENT IT AND FORGET IT Residential Landlords until
they are
coerced through legal sanction.
Contact us at www.The Governed.org
or call:
Governed Hotline in Columbia Tennessee at 286-0187

Tell us your story.

Your story will be important in holding our local Government Officials
accountable for their entrenched Public Policy of "turning the blind eye" to
the systematic degradation of the community by RENT IT AND FORGET IT
negligent rental landlords
  • deteriorating
  • devaluing
  • and degrading YOUR neighborhood.

We, The Governed, are no longer in charge of our fates.
We don't know for sure when we lost that whole "...by the
people, for the people, of the people" thing...but we did.

Your testimony will be a step toward regaining that aspect of Government
in which the Government serves the people...and not the other way around.

TCA 66-28 Parts 304 - 401:  Tennessee Landlord and Tenant Act

TCA 13: Planning and Housing-Slum Clearance and Redevelopment

TCA 6: Cities and Towns

International Property Maintenance Code
The following is script for The Governed Public Service Announcement-
Delivered at regular City Council Meeting, Columbia, Tn: 3FEB11:
A Public Service Announcement to:
The People of Columbia, Tennessee-2011