ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The new crime alert system for Rockford landlords is about to undergo some changes.
More than 2,000 property owners are signed up on the city's data base for rental properties; it launched last fall and notifies landlords when police are called to rental units. The alerts help a property owner work with a tenant to prevent small issues from turning into major safety problems in our neighborhoods. Not everyone has access to a computer, so the city has designed another option for landlords. On Monday, Rockford aldermen will vote on a change to the registry rules to allow for paper applications. Hard copies will be available at City Hall. Landlords who use paper applications will have to provide the same details as the ones who sign up online. Members of the Rockford Apartment Association say most of the landlords who will need a paper application are older neighbors who own a small number of rental units. While they will miss out on the email notifications that come through the online system, landlords can give a cell phone number to get updates via text message. So far, property owners who have signed up online say those updates, for issues large and small, have been helpful in keeping the peace at their units.
"I’ve gotten a couple for noise violations and in that case, it was helpful because the police went there and I knew that they had gone there. It’s about working out problems, solving them, trying to get the behavior to change, let tenants stay in their homes. We don't want to look to eviction as the first alternative, it should be the last,” says Paul Arena from the Rockford Apartment Association.
There will be a help session for landlords who still have any questions about the data base. It’s on February 26th, 2013, from 6 to 8pm at the Rockford Area Association of Realtors office on State Street. Landlords have until the end of February to sign up online. Paper applications are due by the end of March. Landlords who don’t register could be fined $50.00 to $750.00 per day.
Landlords can sign up here: http://rentalregistry.rockfordil.gov/