Huntsville Area Realty Professionals (HARP)


Thanks to everyone who attended last night’s meeting of concerned real estate investors and property managers. We had about one hundred people in attendance.

Attorney Sarah Taggart, Huntsville’s tenant landlord law expert led the meeting and began with an update on a proposed city ordinance being forced to consideration by the Huntsville City Council by The Huntsville Counsel of Neighborhood Associations (HCNA).  All indications from the city council and Mayor Tommy Battle are that no council member supports the ordinance. Without a council member to sponsor the ordinance, it would never come before the counsel for a vote.

We learned that at the monthly HCNA meeting last Tuesday most members of the organization wanted to rethink their proposal but the association’s president, James Marek Jr. pressured the other members to force the issue with the city council.

Charles Bendall, a longtime Huntsville real estate investor, stated he had met with Mr. Marek in an attempt to understand his immovable position on the ordinance. Mr. Bendall said he asked Mr. Marek for specific examples of blighted rental homes that supposedly were the genesis of the proposed ordinance. Mr. Bendall indicated that Mr. Marek could not furnish an example.

After Sarah’s update and Mr. Bendall’s review of his meeting with Mr. Marek, attendees broke into two workgroups. Local real estate investors and property managers. The work groups fielded suggestions on how best to address the current proposed ordinance and how to avoid future threats to our industry.

The two groups reconvened and shared their ideas below;

  • To establish a dialog with city officials and inspectors to understand and address their concerns over Huntsville rental property.
  • To establish communication within the industry for the purpose of informing and if needed mobilizing concerned investors, home owners, property managers and multi-family management companies.
  • To establish an open non-threatening dialog with the HCNA and Mr. Marek. We want to understand their concerns and to point out that the unintended consequences of their proposed ordinance would cause harm to their communities. We also believe that Mr. Marek does not understand that there are already city, state and federal laws in place to regulate code enforcement, the tenant landlord relationship and fair housing.

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