Belleville city council OKs new rental ordinance

tenantriskverification September 19, 2013 0

by: Joe Maty


The Belleville City Council Monday night approved a much-debated “crime-free housing” ordinance, aimed at reducing criminal activity in rental properties.

The measure, approved by a 13-3 vote of the council, requires owners of residential rental properties to register those properties with the city, with renewal required annually. A registration fee of $25 will be charged.

In addition, rental-property owners will be required to file a rental property registration form, which will list property owners’ names and contact information. Owners and landlords also must obtain information on any criminal activity of prospective tenants prior to agreeing to rent to those tenants. Landlords will be required to conduct a comprehensive criminal search on all prospective tenants prior to executing a lease or rental agreement.

Other provisions of the ordinance include a crime-free rental agreement provision in which tenants or members of the tenant’s household state that they will not commit a felony or Class A misdemeanor, or allow the use of a rental unit for commission of a crime of those types. Any violation of the rental agreement’s provisions can be grounds for termination of the rental agreement.

Critics of the ordinance have argued that the measure will adversely affect lower-income residents, but council members on Monday voted against a proposal to eliminate the $25 registration fee and another proposal for an exemption for property owners who rent to family members.


This article was written by  Joe Maty and originally published on stltoday

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