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updated: 3/26/2014 11:19 AM

Elk Grove may adopt rental housing inspection policy

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Elk Grove Village could join a growing list of suburban communities to adopt a crime free rental housing policy, which would require all landlords to attend training sessions and submit to inspections of their properties.

Mayor Craig Johnson said the new rules being considered are in response to nuisance and crime problems at some rental properties, including one rented single-family home where police conducted a drug bust.

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"It puts some provisions on the renter, the owner and the village," Johnson said Tuesday at a village board committee of the whole meeting. "And that is to get a better quality tenant, have a higher quality property, and make sure it's kept that way."

Were the policy to be adopted by the village board, all landlords in Elk Grove would be required to complete a one-time training session hosted by a police crime prevention officer, who would discuss crime prevention tips and how to conduct background checks on prospective tenants, among other topics.

The policy calls for the annual inspection of rented single-family homes in order to find building code violations as well as inspections of rented apartments, condos and townhouses on an as-needed basis.

All rental properties would be inspected in the first year of the program, which officials are targeting for an Oct. 1 start date.

Property owners would pay an annual licensing fee of $50 per apartment, and $100 per condo, townhouse or single family home.

Landlords could be charged additional inspection fees if more inspections are needed to rectify code violations, officials said.

Currently, the village inspects 25 percent of apartments every year and does exterior inspections of rental homes.

There's some 500 single-family homes that are being rented in Elk Grove Village, about 800 condos and townhouses, and 1,800 apartments, officials said.

Elk Grove Village plans to hire a housing maintenance inspector and at least one additional police crime prevention officer to help administer the program.

Elk Grove Village officials say they're modeling their policy off the one Palatine adopted 13 years ago. Other nearby communities with similar policies include Addison, Bensenville, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Rosemont, Schaumburg and Wheeling.

The first such policy was adopted in Mesa, Ariz., in 1992.

The village board could vote to adopt the rules as early as April 8.

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