CH City Council amends nuisance ordinance

At its Nov. 18 meeting, Cleveland Heights City Council unanimously approved an amendment to city ordinances to enable the city to revoke an occupancy permit for up to 12 months if the city determines a tenant of a rental property is a "nuisance."

Council Member Jason Stein, who introduced the amendment, said, “For too long, some absentee landlords have failed to ensure that the tenants they rent to are good neighbors.”

Stein, who said that the problem had become more commonplace since the beginning of the housing crisis, said that the city will use the new legislation “to encourage landlords to think, not only about their own wallets, but also consider the needs and rights of the neighboring community.”

Stein said the legislation will help landlords who maintain their properties and are concerned with the quality of the neighborhood, and will give the city a tool to go after property owners who don’t.

“It is simple,” said Stein. “Rent to good neighbors or lose your privilege to rent in Cleveland Heights.”

Stein said the amendment was based on similar legislation recently passed by the city council of York, Pa.

“At a minimum, the landlord should run a credit and criminal background check, contact the previous landlords from at least the previous two addresses to discuss the potential tenant, give the tenant a copy of Cleveland Heights's New Neighbor Guide, and discuss their expectations of a good tenant and neighbor prior to signing a rental agreement,” said Stein.  

Deanna Bremer Fisher

Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 11:10 AM, 11.26.2013