St. Charles City Council members need more time and information to discuss a proposal that would requires licenses for and inspections of rental properties in St. Charles.
The Residential Rental Licensing and Rental program would protect the people by ensuring rental properties meet code requirements, prevent overcrowding and preserve property values. According to , the program would accomplish this through a fee-based license for those who own properties and establish required annual inspections of apartments and other rental properties.
In one of the more discussed topics during a Sept. 12 city council committee meeting, the program also would modify ordinances that allow landlords the ability to evict tenants charged with or convicted of crimes.
Landlords and rental property owners would be required to include a crime-free addendum or clause in renter leases. The addition would make “criminal activity” a lease violation and give the landlord the ability to start an eviction proceeding.
This measure wouldn’t necessarily coincide with a conviction of crime. Simply being charged could be grounds for eviction.
And at least one council members thinks the program as proposed doesn’t go far enough.
Ward 3 Alderman Bill Turner said the city needs “a lot more teeth” when it comes to crime and rental housing. He would like the city’s ordinance to require landlords to start eviction proceedings for criminals.
“I want our ordinance to say he has to evict him,” Turner said after Monday night’s Planning & Development committee meeting.
In his ward, Turner receives complaints from homeowners concerned about single-family homes turned into rental property and potential problems with those living in those properties.
St. Charles’ program likely will get more review. Committee members tabled discussion and sent it back to city staff with questions.
Among those was a question about recently signed Illinois law similar to the crime-free addendum proposed. The Illinois statute grants landlords the ability to void leases and evict tenants convicted of felonies or class A misdemeanors.
City staff working on the proposed program were asked to see it would fit with the new Illinois law.
“Why reinvent the wheel when someone has already chiseled it out for us?” said Cliff Carrignan, Ward 3 alderman and committee chairman.
The program is scheduled to return for more committee discussion on Nov. 14.
Updated Editor's Note: Later this week, St. Charles Patch will examine more aspects of the Residential Rental Licensing and Rental proposal, including mandatory rental property inspections and licensing fees.