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Crime Free Rental Housing

In 2006, the Oak Forest City Council passed a Crime Free Rental Housing Program ordinance.   The program was first developed in Mesa, Arizona in 1992 to assist tenants, owners and managers of rental properties in keeping drugs and other criminal activity away from their rental properties. Since its inception, the program has been implemented in 2,000 cities in 44 U.S. states, five Canadian Provinces, Mexico, England, Finland, Japan, Russia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Puerto Rico.

The ordinance requires rental properties to be licensed. In order to qualify for licensing, the owner or representative must comply with three phases of the program:

Phase one consists of an eight-hour training program for property owners or their agents. The program, which is taught by police and fire personnel, includes crime prevention tactics and explains the requirement to implement a crime-free lease addendum for tenants. 

Phase two involves assessing the physical security and the general appearance of the rental property to help deter criminal activity.  

Phase three is a safety social, sponsored by the Police Department, for the residents of the rental property. The social may include guest speakers to address specific topics related to the property. The social provides an opportunity for renters to get to know fellow residents and helps foster a sense of community among tenants.  

Benefits of the program include:

  • A stable, more satisfied tenant base
  • Increased demand for rental units
  • Lower maintenance and repair costs
  • Increased property values
  • Improved personal safety for tenants, owners and managers
  • Peace of mind that comes when spending more time on routine management and less time on crisis control
  • Fewer requests for police service

For more information, contact Crime Prevention Officer Lori Manning at 708-687-1376.

Materials

Crime Free Housing Ordinance - Revised 8/2013

Crime Free Housing Program Booklet

Letter to Property Owners

Rental Property License Application

Lease Addendum

Premises Liability Lawsuits: Landlord vs. Tenant

Phase 2/CPTED Assessment

Fair Housing - It's Your Right

Landlord's Five Day Notice Form

Helpful links


Renters Handbook provided by Prairie State Legal Services