Ordinances like this, which target landlords in crime-ridden neighborhoods, are becoming commonplace. In this case, the town’s police chief told a local news reporter that the law could be applied to a variety of crimes including disorderly conduct, drug sales, prostitution, and gun violations.
While it may be impossible to predict which tenants will violate the law, running tenant screening reports, including a criminal background check will allow landlords to eliminate rental applicants who are a bad risk.
In Antioch, if police respond to a property three times within four months, the landlord may be called upon to meet with police and to offer solutions. The police department will assist landlords in developing a crime abatement plan, according to the report.
Part of that plan will undoubtedly entail evicting problem tenants. While most state eviction laws allow for the landlord to boot a tenant who commits a crime, if there is any question, landlords may want to have a lawyer put such a provision in the lease agreement. Still, eviction will take some time, and the landlord will shoulder the expense.
While police have pledged to work with landlords, if the abatement plan doesn’t solve the problem, the landlord may end up in court and the rental property could be “shut down”, or the landlord could be fined $500 each day.
The police chief told reporters he is hopeful individual cases can be resolved short of going to court.