Both sides pleased with outcome of rental property ordinance - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Both sides pleased with outcome of rental property ordinance vote

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Evansville Police will soon have a new tool to quickly solve problems at rental properties.

The city council passed a new ordinance Wednesday night to better identify landlords if something happens on their property.

This is something that's been in the works for years. Many property owners live out of town.  Often times, that makes it very hard for police to get their contact information.

Now, officers say they'll have better communication with landlords and that should mean less crime.

It was standing room only at the meeting. The ordinance was amended several times, but in the end, both sides say they're pleased with the outcome. 

What all this means is landlords will now be required to register certain information like name, telephone number, and address with the city. Police say that will save them a lot of time during their investigations.

"I can tell you that it's hard getting a hold of these owners a lot of time. It's hard making contact. Sometimes, if you pull up on the assessor's site you might have NYC and you've got a PO Box and that's all you have to go on. So, for us to make contact, that's why we're going with this," Evansville Police Chief Billy Bolin said.

"What I see this doing is another step toward landlords coming responsible and taking on a parental role of tenants that don't care about their quality of life," said a speaker at the meeting.

There will be no cost to landlords to register but if they don't register by a certain time they will be fined $100 a day. 

Mayor Lloyd Winnecke says this is something many other cities have embraced to make their communities safer. He says he plans to sign the ordinance soon.

Here's a statement from the Mayor Winnecke on the vote:

"I'd like to congratulate the Evansville Police Department and our neighborhood associations for facilitating a productive dialogue over the past two years that resulted in the passage of the Crime-Free ordinance. There have been many opportunities for the residents to have input, and their feedback helped shape the ordinance adopted by the City Council tonight. As evidenced by many other cities across the nation with similar ordinances, this new tool will assist the law enforcement community in making Evansville safer - a goal our entire community should embrace. I intend to support those efforts by signing the ordinance."

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