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Old 02-14-2015, 06:42 AM
 
4 posts, read 5,139 times
Reputation: 10

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I own an old 4-unit apartment building in DeKalb, IL. It was built around 1920. Last summer I received this letter from the city of DeKalb. This letter states that I have to pay them money every year for what they call crime free housing. I was just thinking about how high my taxes are, and how they keep going up every year. And don't we have police that should be already doing this?

Any way, shortly after this, one of my tenants was arrested for making meth in one of my apartments. The hazmat team came and removed any chemicals that were used. They posted a sign on the door that leads upstairs to two apartments. The sign says condemned, do not enter. Then somebody from the fire department puts up another sign stating the same thing, and told me I could not enter.

So now I have two apartments upstairs that I can't rent out. Only one was involved with meth. I contacted the state of IL and on their web site they have guide lines for cleaning up a meth lab. I contacted the city of DeKalb building dept. and they said I could go in, but I would have to hire a professional meth lab cleaning company. I did some research and found out it could cost $10,000.

So I started cleaning the apartment, following the state guide lines. I called the building dept. and asked if I could rent out the apartment that was not involved. And they said no. While all of this was going on the crime free housing inspector gives me 7 maintenance violations on the outside of the building.

Now I have to fix the violations, and put the cleaning of the apartment on hold. I am losing $1000. per month from lost rent. I can't afford to hire anyone to help me. After I get done with the maintenance violations, I got back to cleaning the apartment.

Now that I am done, I contacted the state of IL to see if I can take down the sign, and rent the apartments. They said yes I could. I called the city of DeKalb building dept. and asked them if I could take down their sign and rent the apartments. They told me they are going to have a meeting with the city attorney and would let me know.

I feel like I am being punished for my tenant's actions. while all of this was going on they said I had to take a landlord's training class. And if the police ever have to come to one of the other two apartments that are rented for any reason, I have to explain to them what I will do about it. For example, they had to come over because a guest of one of my tenants, that was staying with him, who was a woman, hit another woman. So I had to tell them in writing what I was going to do about it. I told them the woman would have to leave, and they reviewed it. They sent me a letter stating that would be acceptable.



And if the police have to come to my building three times, I have to go to court, because they call it a disorderly house.
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:56 AM
 
1,037 posts, read 1,478,161 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doesnotseemright View Post
....if the police have to come to my building three times, I have to go to court, because they call it a disorderly house.
Sounds like government. Create rules that make it hard to evict an unruly tenant, then take the landlord to court for housing an unruly tenant. And now there are some who want to make it illegal to ask about a potential tenant's criminal history, making it harder to screen out a potential unruly tenant.
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Old 02-14-2015, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 25,075,396 times
Reputation: 6183
Unless you have a very compelling reason to stay in DeKalb, I would do two things. [1]Sell it and [2]buy in a nearby county. Laws in most counties - excepting perhaps Cook -- are far less restrictive than the majority of cities with restrictive laws. Be sure to enforce state laws such as not burning anything except what is natural outside. Items such as newspaper, mail, computer paper, diapers, and food waste are not natural, but leaves, weeds, plants, grass, and trees are natural. .
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:59 AM
 
179 posts, read 419,602 times
Reputation: 103
The fact that you pay taxes doesn't allow you to be a slumlord and pass your mess onto someone else.
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,883 posts, read 3,842,668 times
Reputation: 2743
Sounds like you need to do a MUCH better job of screening your tenants. I own a 3-flat in Elgin and I've never had the police out. Elgin has a crime free thing that you attach to your lease that speeds up eviction.
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:16 PM
 
936 posts, read 1,748,383 times
Reputation: 934
Did your landlord insurance policy cover an of the loss?
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Old 02-28-2015, 07:59 AM
 
4 posts, read 5,139 times
Reputation: 10
Default insurance

I did not make a claim on my insurance, in fear they would cancel me or raise my rates.
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Old 02-28-2015, 08:04 AM
 
4 posts, read 5,139 times
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I contacted the city of DeKalb again to see if I could rent my apartment. And the building department said they have not made a decision yet. It has been 10 months, so far. The state of IL said I could rent the apartment.
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Old 02-28-2015, 10:56 AM
 
936 posts, read 1,748,383 times
Reputation: 934
I understand your concern about possibly getting your insurance cancelled. This seems like a big enough loss that it might be worth the risk-- you're already losing lots of money, including the loss of rent.

I'd call some other insurance companies, other than your present company, to see if they would sell you insurance if you were to have a claim on this building.

I'd also check your policy for exceptions to coverage. Meth houses are really expensive to clean up properly, and some insurance policies won't cover that. Also, I'd see if "loss of rent" due to various perils is something that you policy covers. If it does, then your claim might be large enough, and beneficial for you, to take the risk of possibly having some issues in the future with coverage.

Have you considered hiring an attorney? The loss of rent alone has cost you lots of money and the cost of an attorney would likely have been less than the rental loss at this point. Most cities have 'housing court' that can hear housing violations in a short amount of time versus the normal court system. I can't imagine what would be taking so long in DeKalb.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:42 AM
 
4 posts, read 5,139 times
Reputation: 10
The DeKalb building dept. finally told me that " It is up to me, if I want to rent the apartment or not". Why didn't they tell me that 10 months ago?
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