Police Hold Crime-Free Housing Seminar

By: Raquel Moore
By: Raquel Moore

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Landlords are learning how to help transform our neighborhoods by keeping crime out of their rental properties.

Mike Switzer has been renting properties in Rockford for ten years and has 7 properties scattered throughout the city. Switzer says it's frustrating when other landlords neglect their units, but he says he's hopeful the cities efforts to clean up run down rentals will work.

"I'm hesitant but I am hoping that it gets rid of some of the slum lords, some of the people that don't fix up their properties, and some of the people that just don't take pride in their neighborhoods."

The city wants more landlords like Switzer who take pride in their property. Rockford Police believe that mindset will help decrease overall crime in the city.

Today officers held a crime-free multi-unit housing seminar to give tips on cleaning up properties and screening tenants. Police say run down buildings invite criminal activity into our neighborhoods. It's a problem Switzer sees all too often.

"We fix up our properties, but they don't fix up their properties, and that brings everything down it brings more crime elements in."

Sgt. Carla Redd says meetings like this are also important because they bring landlords together to discuss and solve problems they all face.

"I would definitely say the landlords I have here today, they're the ones that definitely wanna maintain their properties because they have a vested interest there."

Switzer says his tenants know he holds them to a high standard, but he also says they know they hold him to one as well.

Landlords have until March 1st to sign up for the landlord registry. There's a $75 a day fine for anyone who misses the deadline.

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