Crime Free HOUSING Program

Overview

On December 2, 2019, the South Chicago Heights Village Board passed a Crime Free Housing Program Ordinance. The program was first developed in Mesa, Arizona in 1992 to assist tenants, owners and managers of rental properties in keeping drugs and other criminal activity away from their rental properties. Crime Free Housing Ordinance 2019-ORD-14

How it Works

The Crime Free Housing Program is a unique two-phase certification program for rental properties of all sizes, including single family rental homes.  The first phase is the completion of a seminar taught by police and building personnel. The program is designed to be easily implemented, yet extremely effective at reducing criminal activity in rental properties. 

Seminar Required

The Crime Free Housing Program seminar addresses these topics:  

  • Understanding Crime Prevention
  • C.P.T.E.D. Concepts (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design)
  • Annual Inspection requirements
  • Community Rules
  • Combating Crime Problems
  • Dealing with Non-Compliance

Residential Rental License Required

On May 1, 2020, and thereafter, no person, corporation or business entity, condominium, townhouse or homeowners’ association shall engage in the business of renting any dwelling unit to the public, operating a rental dwelling or dwelling unit, rooming house or rooming unit, unless a valid Residential Rental License has been issued by the Village Clerk for the specific location.  A dwelling unit may not be rented and no new lease may be entered into and no lease may be rented until a license is secured pursuant to this section or while a license is suspended or revoked.

Crime Free Lease Addendum

The ordinance allows and explains the requirement to implement a Crime Free Lease Addendum (PDF) for rental properties as well as allows for screening potential tenants for a history of illegal behavior.

Property Monitoring and Inspections

The South Chicago Heights Police Department monitors the program for property owners or their agents. Once entered into the program, police and landlords/managers will assess the physical security and the general appearance of the rental property to help deter criminal activity. The Building Inspector will inspect each dwelling unit(s) and common area(s) for any violations as it relates to applicable laws and code regulations.  After each inspection, the owner will be provided with an inspection report describing any violation.  The property owner shall correct any such violation condition within thirty (30) days from the date of inspection report.  Failure to correct said conditions may result in a suspension or revocation of Residential Rental License.  Here is a list of code regulations an inspector looks for.  Inspection Checklist

Eviction Notice Recommendations

The following notices are merely recommendations.  It is always best to consult with an attorney.