Council approves changes to nuisance premise ordinances

Nora Shelly, Assistant Summer Editor

City Council approved changes Monday night to two ordinances that aim to increase cooperation between landlords and the city and reduce issues at problem properties in Evanston.

Changes to the nuisance premise ordinance include classifying the criminal offenses that can initiate the nuisance premise process into two categories. There would be aggravated offenses, which include homicide, theft and armed violence, and non-aggravated offenses, which include prostitution, fire code violations and disturbing the peace. One instance of an aggravated offense on a property, or two non-aggravated offenses in a 12-month period would qualify a property for the nuisance premise process.

Under the amended nuisance premise ordinance, if a property is designated a nuisance premise, the owner will be notified and meet with city officials to discuss the issues and craft a resolution agreement. According to the ordinance, the owner will not be subject to nuisance premise action if the agreement is followed.

However, if an agreement is not reached or the owner is uncooperative, the city may pursue further action against the owner, which may include a “nuisance abatement plan” to reduce the issues on the premises.

Additionally, the previous provision of this ordinance, stating the city would need a conviction in any arrest to move forward with the nuisance premise, was removed.

The changes to the landlord tenant ordinance will require Evanston landlords to include a provision in leases notifying potential tenants that they are liable for criminal activity taking place within the rental space. Additionally, the changes allow landlords to evict a tenant if they violate the lease and to bar a person from a rental property.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @noracshelly