Cedar Rapids officials are making a new push to identify nuisance rental properties — including those at or near where crimes take place — and to put in place a mechanism that can assess fees and pull rental licenses from landlords with repeat violations who don’t agree to remedy them.
This latest City Hall attempt to clamp down on nuisance rental properties, nuisance landlords and nuisance tenants is being modeled after programs in Davenport, Iowa City, Dubuque and elsewhere. At a joint meeting on Thursday, the City Council’s Development Committee and Public Safety Committee agreed to bring the nuisance abatement program to a vote of the full council in December.
Police Capt. Steve O’Konek and Kevin Ciabatti, the city’s building services manager, talked to the council committees on Tuesday about how much it costs the city to continually send police officers and city zoning and housing officials to the worst of the city’s nuisance properties. O’Konek singled out five apartment complexes in the city, noting that each had hundreds of calls for police service in each of the last three years, a cost of which was estimated at $190 an hour per call.
“We’re not going to be the private security force for landlords who think they have a God-given right to rent to anyone without doing background checks,” council member Pat Shey, a Development Committee member, emphasized on Thursday.
This artilce originally appeared on thegazette