City to create new committee for rental license proposal

Marshall Cohen

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The Evanston City Council unanimously voted Monday night to create a mayoral-appointed committee to consider the proposed rental licensing law.

The proposal to be studied would require all landlords in Evanston to apply for a rental license before they can rent properties. These licenses would have higher fees and stricter requirements than the existing registration process for landlords.

Ald. Ann Rainey (8th) said the ordinance was not targeted at Northwestern student tenants.

“I know Northwestern students rent apartments and there are evidently issues involving Northwestern students and their landlords,” Rainey said. “But I’d like to see more focus placed on the Evanston residents that live here 12 month a year for five, ten or fifteen years.”

Josh Braun, representing the Evanston Property Owners Association, questioned the need for new rental licenses and asked for landlords to be included in the committee.

“We ask this committee to focus on solving this problem and not to just bring more laws to the books,” Braun said. “By working together, all groups have a stake to solving the problem and the responsibility to solving the problems.”

Ald. Delores Holmes (5th) expressed support for an all-inclusive committee.

“I’d like to make sure that tenants are involved,” Holmes said. “Also small, medium, and large size landlords, as well as representation from the West Side and other communities like Brummel Park.”

Aldermen were instructed to forward requests to serve on the committee to the mayor.