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Friday, February 15, 2013

Crime-Free Housing Bill Introduced in Illinois Legislature

On January 24th Senator Thomas Cullerton introduced the County Municipal-Crime Free Housing Bill (SB1155) in the Illinois Senate.  The bill seeks to amend both the Counties Code and the Illinois Municipal Code to authorize the adoption of crime-free housing ordinances for the purpose of reducing crime, such as gang-related activity or drug trafficking, in residential areas.

The bill applies to both apartment buildings and mobile home parks, but not to state or federally licensed facilities.  While the bill allows every municipality to draft their own version of the ordinance, it also makes suggestions for potential provisions.  For instance, under the new law, property owners who want to rent out crime-free residences must attend crime prevention training programs and submit to a public safety inspection before obtaining a valid residential license.  Leases would be required to include a provision prohibiting tenants, tenants’ family members, or guests from “engaging in, facilitating, or permitting any quasi-criminal or criminal activity.”  Tenants in violation of that provision would immediately trigger eviction proceedings.  Additionally, tenants would be subject to a criminal background check as part of the application process or renewal agreement.  Leases could not waive or modify any provisions of a crime-free ordinance that were enacted under the bill.  Finally, property owners would be required to submit to periodic inspections to make sure residences are in compliance with the crime-free ordinances laws.

SB 1155 is currently under consideration by the Local Government subcommittee.
Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf and Joy Austria, Ancel Glink


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