BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Sights like blighted homes and apartments across East Baton Rouge Parish has become an eye sore for years.

Councilman Darryl Hurst has an answer to tackle the problem, he’s calling it the quality-of-life ordinance. The East Baton Rouge metro council passed the ordinance Wednesday.

“This ordinance is really not about landlords. It started off that way. Now it’s about that one home that’s not looking great in the middle of a neighborhood that looks amazing,” said Councilman Darryl Hurst, District 5, East Baton Rouge Parish.

The ordinance puts in maintenance standards for residential properties under the state International Property Maintenance Code. This means things like a burst pipe, hoarding, and broken windows should be taken care of by the landlord in a timely manner. Or, the landlord can face a $500 fee.

Hurst says there hasn’t been anything like this in the books for 20 years because there’s been back and forth with property owners.

“We met with the realtor’s association, the apartment association, the homebuilder’s association, and the federation association, and all of them saw the ordinance as written and approved them as written,” he said. “We know Baton Rouge has to improve as it relates to blight, as it relates to condemnations.”

Councilman Hurst says this now allows residents to hold their landlords accountable. Hurst says the overall goal of the ordinance is not to improve the quality of life for residents but the city as a whole.

“It will beautify North Baton Rouge and help us get rid of the crime and of other challenges that come with blighted properties,” said Hurst.

The city’s Department of Development will enforce the ordinance and it will go into place next Spring.

To read the full ordinance, click here.