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Local

Batavia aldermen expand crime-free housing program

BATAVIA – Batavia aldermen Monday approved the expansion of the city’s crime-free housing program.

Aldermen approved a staff recommendation that Batavia’s crime-free housing program be renamed and expanded to include more rental buildings within the city. Batavia aldermen in September 2011 approved the two-year pilot program, which ends this year.

City staff recommended the program be made permanent, and that it be renamed “City of Batavia Rental Property Licensing Program” to show a more comprehensive approach to rental licensing activity.

As part of the expanded program, a building or complex will need to pass a property maintenance inspection before the owner is issued a rental property license. The inspection would include the exterior of the building’s grounds and common areas within the building. Individual apartments would not be inspected.

Batavia Community Development Director Scott Buening told aldermen that requiring property maintenance inspections will help bring rental buildings to a higher standard in the community.

As part of the program, landlords must include a crime-free lease addendum that makes criminal activity a violation and grounds for eviction. That includes murder, drug-related criminal activity, prostitution and unlawful use of weapons.

The addendum covers residents and their guests.

The program had been in effect only for apartment complexes of 10 or more units. It will now expand to include those buildings or complexes that are six units or larger.

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