This article was contributed by Mohammad Najafian.
St. Cloud Police Department decided to organize a rental training course for those who want to rent their buildings in the area.
Certified Crime Prevention Specialist John Justin said that the training is held every other month and includes four 50-minutes sessions. Two of the sessions are directed by the Police Department, the third is led by the fire marshal and the last one is taught by the Health and Inspection Office. Justin added that trainees are educated about how they can burglar proof their properties, and work with police to keep crime out of the area.
Attendees will also learn how to conduct applicant screening, as well as getting low-risk tenants. He said that regulations taught to participants include ordinance strikes against landlords, circumstances when the police warn them include nuisance violence, underage drinking, noise, gambling, disorderly misconduct and prostitution.
Justin said that violators are treated through a progressive course of action. If anyone breaks rules, they’re first sent a letter from the health office in which they are advised of their breach. If a second violation happens within 12 months of the first time breaking rules, they get a notice and should give action plan for remedy. A third time of breaching rules results in being fined a certain amount of money which is dependent on their level of crime. Should there be a fourth time in their history of rental properties, they jeopardize losing their license.
Justin said that there have been only two cases in the past 10 years reaching the fourth time of violation. As a result, he said that training sessions have been effective so far.
Referring to criminals, Justin said that they have served sentences imposed by law and should be treated like any other individual in the community.
Justin said that if tenants are not happy with the temperature inside buildings, tenants can make a complaint through the Health and Inspection Office located in the city hall. If their request needs legal assistance and they cannot afford it due to the expensive nature of legal services, individuals are advised of ending their lease and move into a new place where they find it satisfactory
Assistant Director Travis Bistodeau at the Health and Inspection Office said that supervises of housing and co-enforcement as well as the environmental division. He adds that 95 percent of the time property owners approach the office and request for a license, they first schedule an appointment during which he checks out maintenance efficiency issues. If there is a need to repair anything, they are given a certain amount of time to make corrections.
Bristodeau said that owners who don’t get a license might get fined. Reports of not having a license are confirmed through occupants. The owners are then given seven to 10 business days to start their initial application. Otherwise, they could receive a $750 fine.