Florissant Tramples the Rights of Landlords and Tenants With Passage of Crime Free Bill

On October 10th (well, technically October 11th since the final vote was not taken until reportedly 1:00 am) the city of Florissant dealt it’s latest blow to landlords and tenants.  The blow by way of  Crime Free Bill No. 9226 which was introduced by the Florissant City Council as a whole and was passed unanimously by the council in spite of opposition to the bill expressed by the St Louis Association of REALTORS, EHOC and others.  I have provided below a complete copy of Article XVII: Residential Real Estate of the city of Florissant ordinances as this was the section that was changed by the bill.

Highlights of changes as a result of Crime-Free Bill No. 9226:

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  • This new ordinance applies to everyone that rents out, or I guess even allows someone to stay in a home for free (that the owner does not occupy), even owners that want to help our a friend or relative  (beyond the second degree of consanguinity). such as an aunt, uncle of cousin.
  • Owners of rental property that do not reside within a 50 miles radius of Florissant are required to hire a property manager or have some other “authorized representative” within 50 mils of Florissant.
  • Landlords will be required to attend classes (or meet whatever rules and regulations deemed necessary by the Chief of Police of Florissant) to obtain, and then maintain, a “Crime Free Housing Certificate” from the city of Florissant.  Without this, you can’t rent out, or allow anyone to live in a property you own but do not occupy.
  • The Director of Public Works may “issue such rules and regulations as deemed necessary to implement this Article (the new ordinance)”.
  • The landlords license may be suspended if any property they own is found to be out of compliance with property maintenance codes for more than 30 days.
  • A landlord may also have their license suspended or revoked if within a twelve month period the landlord has been notified of 3 or more acts of “unreasonable conduct by the tenants or other persons” in a rental property which “constitute a public nuisance” to neighbors.  The ordinance includes in it’s definition of public nuisance: loud music or loud noises, garbage/rubbish/litter and tall weeks and grass along.
  • A landlord may also have their license suspended or revoked “for the act, commission or perpetration of a felony crime…or a Class A misdemeanor….or Florissant municipal ordinance violations, by owner, tenants or guests of occupants on or about the property or the immeidately surround areas or anywhere within the city limits of the City of Florissant...”  – The interesting thing here is, in reading the ordinance it is not clear to me that there has to be a conviction for any of the things mentioned so perhaps just an allegation or charge of doing any of these things puts a landlord at risk.  the other interesting (scary) thing is now, as a landlord, you are responsible for your tenant (and all of their guests) and anything they do within the city of Florissant basically.
  • It also appears landlords will be required to pay for utility bills for tenants if they become delinquent for 2 months or if a utility provider is going to stop service.
  • If Landlord’s license gets suspended there is a $100 fine to reinstate and then it will only be reinstated after the director of Public Works is satisfied the issue leading to the suspension is resolved.  So, the Director of Public Works is judge and jury.
  • If Landlord’s licensed gets revoked, there is a $200 fine to get it reinstated and again, subject to approval of the Director of Public Works.
  • In both of the above cases, the landlord has the right of appeal but the Director of Public works holds the hearing so again is judge and jury so I don’t know what the odds are that he will overrule his own decision but I guess there is a chance.
  • If a landlord does have his license suspended or revoked I’m not sure what happens to the tenant but, since it is illegal now to rent property in Florissant without a license, I’m guessing the expectation is the tenant would have to go as a result.

Crime Free Bill Number 9226 – City of Florissant

Chapter 605

Article XVII: Residential Real Estate

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