Joliet officials to present license proposal to landlords
BY BOB OKON firstname.lastname@example.org August 21, 2013 5:30PM
Updated: September 23, 2013 2:36PM
Joliet city officials next week will present a proposal to license landlords during the annual Landlords Conference.
The plan would create a way to register landlords for single-family houses and owner-occupied two-flats, said Alfredo Melesio, Joliet’s director of neighborhood services. Other apartments now are registered as part of the city rental inspection program.
The proposal will be part of the Landlords Conference, an annual session in which city officials usually go over regulations for Joliet landlords and provide information on the eviction process and other topics important to owners of rental housing.
“We’re going to roll it out and talk about what we’re proposing and give them a chance to be part of the process,” Melesio said.
Some landlords became part of the process earlier this month when the Joliet City Council Land Use Committee discussed the plan. A proposed $20-per-unit licensing fee already is under review because of resistance from landlords.
Committee Chairman Terry Morris said he understands the landlords’ concern about the per-unit fee.
“If one person owns two or three homes, they shouldn’t have to pay a fee for each property,” Morris said.
But Morris said he sees the need for the city to improve the information it has on rental property in Joliet.
“I think we definitely need to take another look at it, where we have some database on all the landlords,” he said.
Neighborhood associations in the past have urged the city to heighten regulations on single-family rental properties, particularly when a rental house on the block becomes a problem because of blight or criminal activity.
Landlord groups typically have resisted increased regulation. But Melesio said there are some benefits for landlords, who may learn of problems on their property because of complaints made to the city.
“Why wouldn’t a property owner want to give us their information, so we could contact them when we have nuisance complaints or other problems at the site?” Melesio said. “I think there’s a lot of common ground, and we can work together to make our community better.”
The Landlord Conference will be Monday and Tuesday at Jacob Henry Mansion, 15 S. Richards St. The Monday meeting will be from 6 to 9 p.m., and the Tuesday meeting from 9 a.m. to noon.
Those interested in more information can call Melesio at 815-724-4100 or email email@example.com.