Crime-Free Community Rules Make Complexes More Secure

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 13, 2009 | Go to article overview

Crime-Free Community Rules Make Complexes More Secure


Some condominium properties have a tendency to attract a criminal element, like tartar sauce to a fish fry. Whether it is due to condition, cheap rents, proximity to drug supplies or any other factors, the board of directors must be prepared to deal with these type of occupants, even when the property only has one.

What has been a boon to some areas is the adoption of Crime Free Multi-Housing ordinances in a number of communities (Schaumburg, Palatine, Naperville, to name just a few). These local laws set forth criteria whereby the conscientious owner can protect his investment while working in conjunction with the association and local authorities.

In addition to village ordinances, there are laws on the books to deal with specific situations, and when that fails, a board could adopt a crime-free community set of rules to fill in the gaps where not addressed by local or state law.

Here is an overview of these types of regulations being implemented area-wide to keep the solid citizens in a community association safe from harm.

First, if a property has units rented out under the Department of Housing and Urban Developments Section 8 Subsidized Housing program, Section 5/9-118 (Ch. 110 ILCS) of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure provides for the immediate eviction of any occupant using, selling or trafficking in drugs. Unlike other eviction proceedings, in these instances, no notice is even required. The management can ask for emergency eviction proceedings to commence under this section of the law.

Further, under Section 5/9-119, the occupant can be evicted for failing to allow the owner access to the premises.

Second, under 5/9-120, a landlord can void a lease if the premises has been used for the commission of any act that constitutes a felony or Class A misdemeanor, and the owner can recover possession through normal Forcible Entry and Detainer (eviction) proceedings.

Third, this begs the question as to what a board has to do regarding registered sex

offenders. In 1994, a twice-convicted sex offender in New Jersey brutally abused and murdered a young girl, which prompted the creation of "Megans" laws, requiring registration. Frequently, a board will learn that a registered sex offender will be residing on the property. The existing state laws do not give the boards the same latitude in these instances unless a crime is actually committed on the premises or it involves drugs. …

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