Landlords here are getting closer to being required to conduct mandatory criminal background checks of their prospective tenants.
A special City Council committee on Tuesday said they supported an amendment to the city’s rental housing ordinance that would make the background checks mandatory and would position the Police Department to provide landlords with a comprehensive tenant criminal-background check for an estimated fee of $6 for each check.
The full City Council is slated to take up the matter in February, said the committee members — Monica Vernon, Pat Shey and Justin Shields.
City officials on Tuesday made it clear that requiring background checks does not mean that a landlord can’t rent to a tenant who has had prior criminal problems. Landlords should be allowed to give tenants second chances, Vernon said.
However, landlords who don’t conduct background checks or who rent to criminals and then are found to have nuisance properties might have their ability to rent properties in Cedar Rapids taken away, the committee members said.
The City Hall attempt to toughen the city’s rental housing code is designed to improve housing and neighborhoods and make the city less friendly to criminals, city officials have said.
Do you think the proposal will achieve its goals?