LANSING | The Village Board gave its approval Tuesday to a measure that reduces the frequency by which landlords must have their rental properties inspected by village officials.
Trustees voted 5-0, with Terry Kapteyn absent, on a measure that renamed the Crime Free Housing Program to the Lansing Housing Rental Program.
The most significant change is landlords will now only have to submit properties for village inspection every three years, instead of annually as has been required ever since the program was created in 2008, said village Attorney Timothy Lapp.
Reducing the frequency of inspections also reduces the amount of times landlords will have to pay accompanying inspection fees.
Village Administrator J. Wynsma said the changes were made in part to appease landlords who had complained about the annual inspections. But he also said village officials had come to realize that annual inspections were “not necessary.”
Under the amended ordinance, inspections will have to take place upon the purchase of a residential property, upon any change in occupancy, or every three years.
Changing the name of the ordinance is meant to encourage landlords to keep better track of their tenants and to discourage any criminal use of the property, Wynsma said. He believes the new name is “more descriptive” of what the ordinance actually does.
“The goal ultimately is for all occupants of rental properties to feel like they have a relationship with the village,” he said. “We want the landlords to be accountable for their properties, as well as a program that holds tenants accountable and makes them want to be good renters and good neighbors.”
Previously, the ordinance required landlords to attend Police Department training in signs of criminal activity that might be occurring on their property.
Landlords still have to provide the village with copies of leases, along with lists of who actually is supposed to live on each rental property.
Such ordinances are common throughout the south suburbs. Calumet City and Chicago Heights both have similar measures in place to regulate landlords.