Landlords Liable for Crime 3 Blocks Away

Daily Newspaper shutterstock_1272343108Lawmakers in Mason City, Iowa have sparked a controversy with landlords by proposing a rental ordinance that makes landlords liable for tenant crimes committed within 1,500 feet ” or about 3 city blocks ” of a rental property.

According to a news report, city officials are defending the geographic scope of the law by saying many crimes originate indoors, and then spill out into the neighborhood.

A companion provision of the ordinance allows city officials to declare a property a nuisance, and charge landlords if police are called repeatedly to the area.

The measure is set for final approval in early May. Local landlords have asked lawmakers to take more time to consider their objections to the law. A city official says that the proposed changes will benefit the community by making it safer.

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