Rental Housing Nuisance Ordinance to be Discussed

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Noisy neighbors are one thing, but when you're afraid to walk outside your home at night, city leaders say there may be a problem. A new ordinance could soon protect Rockford's renters.

The ordinance will allow the city to punish tenants and rental property landlords for frequent disturbances and police calls to the neighborhood.

Slamming doors and blaring TVs may qualify as nuisance activity if this ordinance passes.

The city will focus on issues that are investigated by the police or reported to the rental property owner. The ordinance draft submitted to the codes and regulations committee says if three complaints happen within a four month period, the city can intervene. The city says this ordinance would put more pressure on rental property owners to improve a neighborhood's quality of life.

"Landlord's, they just don't pay any mind to it," said one Rockford renter who often feels unsafe in his apartment complex. "They just write a report, and we'll take care of it. While nothing ever happens from it."

Penalties for repeating nuisances can potentially result in no more than 10-thousand dollars in fines to the rental property owner or the tenant.

The city council will talk about the new ordinance during tomorrow night's meeting.

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