ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Every residential landlord who rents out property in Rockford must now register their buildings with the city. That's the first step to what many hope is the solution to problem landlords, and unruly tenants in the Forest City.
Rockford City Council approved a new rental property registration ordinance Monday night. This registry will allow landlords to receive e-mails if police are called to their property. The messages won't say why they were called, just that officers were at the building.
Landlords can then deal with the problem, and if they need to bring issues before an advisory housing board for mediation with tenants. Under these new rules, a property can be labeled a chronic nuisance if police are called three times in a four month period.
If there is a domestic dispute the landlord will be notified police were called, but won't be told why. This is not something the renter would get in trouble for since it's not considered a nuisance.
The ordinance has been in the making for four years, and will hold bothersome tenants and negligent landlords accountable.
It will require landlords to be notified whenever police are called to their property. And if a problem is ongoing, the city, the landlord, and the tenant will be able to meet to discuss the issue before strict penalties are given out.
"Over time we see an improvement in the quality of rental property, and that we get away from this idea that rental property's necessarily a bad thing," said Rockford Apartment Association president Paul Arena. "That we just recognize a renter as being no different than a homeowner, and they don't necessarily mean your neighborhood is going downhill."
The ordinance is scheduled to be voted on in tomorrow's city council meeting.