Florissant approves controversial ordinance targeting landlords, rental properties

FLORISSANT, MO (KPLR) - Florissant City Council passed an ordinance that they say would crack down on crime. Others say it would put a burden on landlords.

The council voting unanimously in favor of this bill which puts more responsibilities on landlords for what happens at their properties.

The new ordnance says the goal is to create a crime-free housing program and increase the quality of life of residents by decreasing the incidents of public safety, nuisance and code violations along with criminal activity in rental properties. The ordinance would suspend or strip landlords of their licenses if they fail to uphold certain provisions. For example, a landlord`s license would be suspended or revoked if within a 12 month period the landlord has been notified of three or more acts of unreasonable conduct by the tenants of other persons on the property.

The ordinance also imposes a $50 per year fee for every unit that a landlord owns. Landlords say the ordinance puts too much of a burden on them.

Fair Housing advocates worry the ordinance will unfairly target poor and minority tenants. However, Florissant city leaders say residents complained about problem properties and they are worried about property values.

The ACLU believes the ordinance will unfairly target minorities.

The city debated the measure until almost 1 a.m. Tuesday and passed it.