B'ville: One Apartment at a time

Village officials are looking to improve the quality of life for village renters.

Two proposed codes are currently under review by village attorney Ron Carr, which include apartment inspections and disruptive conduct by renters.

The code dealing with apartment inspections addresses public safety issues for those who live in rental properties and holds landlords responsible for their units making sure residents are protected. With 37 percent of village residents residing in apartments, this code is a long-time coming, said Trustee Rick Presley.

"I totally support this," Presley said. "But, do we have the man power to enforce it on a continuous basis."

Village Engineer Tim Baker said yes, explaining to the board that at first a lot of time would be spent going through apartments, checking to make sure measurements such as bedroom sizes and window measurements are up to code.

"The only thing [the code] will effect is office hours because Rolf [Beckhusen] won't be in the office as much," Baker said.

He said Beckhusen would initially spend a lot of time with the bad ones, while others shouldn't take long at all. Apartments would then be placed on one, two and three year inspection rotations, when Beckhusen would return to check for changes in structure and dangerous conditions such as exposed wires and inoperable smoke detector.

The new code would charge rental property owners with a $25 per unit fee

Chief Michael Lefanchek brought a second proposal to the board addressing rental property disturbances that do not rise to the level of being charged.

The proposal addresses rental property disturbances that affect the quality of life of neighbors. When this happens, village police could charge offenders with disruptive conduct. The report would then go to the code enforcement officer, the apartment owner and the resident. After three property disturbance reports within a year, the violator will be evicted. The law will not apply to property owners.

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