Some Springfield aldermen have expressed concerns about the condition of vacant properties and properties that have become chronic nuisances for the city and neighbors living nearby. Frustrated, these aldermen believe a whole new ordinance requiring Landlord Registration is needed to address their constituents’ concerns. Before actively pursuing new ordinances and adding to the City’s administrative duties, the Springfield Area Landlord Association believes the City could use existing ordinances that will efficiently and effectively deal with problems as they occur.
Springfield already has two incredibly robust ordinances with rules and fines at its disposal to address vacant, distressed, open & unsafe, or nuisance properties, which contain numerous remedies for the city to employ.
1. Vacant Property Registration (VPR) ordinance
- Both ordinances have been on the books for years but are not consistently used and enforced
- Alderman see those properties in their neighborhoods and assume that because little is being done it is because the City does not have the power to do anything
- Springfield City officials should use the tools at their disposal in every instance
- Authorizes the City to force an owner to enclose an open and unsafe building. If the owner fails to do this, the City can charge the owner for the costs of doing so.
- Imposes numerous penalties, fees and filing requirements on the property owner.
2. Chronic Nuisance Properties (CNP) ordinance
- The City may, after only 3 code violations in 2 years, have a property declared a CNP and thus subject to a 2-year remediation program requiring monitoring and reporting as violations are abated
- CNP ordinance imposes a $1,000 fine on owners for having a property declared a CNP. The fine is in addition to the 2 years of monitoring and reporting and the costs incurred by the property owner to abate the violations.
- Current CNP ordinance states if at any point in time the property owner fails to meet his or her obligations, all penalties and requirements of the ordinance start over again.
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