New Antioch nuisance ordinance targets landlords

 
 
Updated 8/18/2011 6:31 PM

A new nuisance law in the village of Antioch targets landlords who look the other way when crimes take place in their rental properties.

Police Chief Craig Somerville said the new nuisance abatement law, which was approved by the Antioch village board earlier this week, targets rental property where criminal offenses frequently occur.

 

Somerville said the criminal complaints listed under the law range from disorderly conduct and drug sales to prostitution and gun violations.

The new law doesn't pertain to building code violations, but focuses only on properties with chronic criminal violations, he added.

"Responsible landlords in the village of Antioch will have nothing to worry about with this at all," Somerville said. "This specifically targets landlords who continuously look the other way when offenses are taking place inside their rental properties."

Under the new law, if police responds to an address more than three times within 120 days, the landlord will be asked to attend a meeting with police officials to discuss how to stop the problems.

Then, through education and assistance by the police department, a plan will be developed and put in place to address criminal activity, Somerville said.

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However, if the problems continue following the meeting, the village could ask a Lake County judge to shut down the facility or fine the landlord up to $500 per day.

"We develop a plan with the landlord to ensure the problems at the location stop," he said. "If the problems persist, then we can take it to the next level."

Somerville is hopeful most cases will be resolved without taking the issue to court.

"At any time throughout the process, there is room to work with the landlords to have the problems resolved," he said. "As long as we work together, we can get through this."