Liberty Safe Residence Program
Protecting Your Rental Investment
Rental properties present a unique challenge for law enforcement. The typical block watch approach to residents in single-family homes is not easily adapted to rental communities. In single-family homes, owners generally have a large cash investment in the purchase of their home. This motivates owners to a greater concern about crime in their neighborhoods. With rising crime rates, come lower property values.
An owner of a single-family home might also be looking at long term residency. Typically, homeowners have a 3-year mortgage for their property. Home is where they come to each day and perhaps raise a family. There tends to be a lot of pride in ownership of their property. When crime problems begin to appear, owners are likely to organize block-watch activities to protect the long-term interest of their family.
In rental properties, the communities tend to be much more transient. Most often, residents sign a year lease for rental property. This allows for an occupant to move very easily if they feel crime has reached a level they will not tolerate. It is easier to move away from crime than to confront it.
With these challenges facing the residents of Liberty, the Liberty Police Department and the Liberty Landlord’s Association developed the Liberty Safe Residence Program. The program’s concept was to take a multi-faceted approach to crime prevention. It is a unique coalition of police, property managers, and residents. The program is an on-going program with a 3-phase approach to addressing the challenges facing rental properties.
The first phase of the program is to educate and assist the landlord with the screening process of a potential tenant. Landlords are asked to screen a potential tenant using financial, criminal, and rental history.’
The second phase of the program is to have a tenant sign a Lease Addendum. By signing this addendum the tenant agrees not to participate in criminal activity or allow criminal activity in their residence.
The 3rd phase of the program is cooperation between the landlord and the police. Each time a police officer is called to a property of a Safe Residence participant, the landlord or their property manager will be notified with a report on the incident. The property manager contacts the tenant and advises them they have violated their lease agreement. The property manager has the option to either start the eviction process or notify the tenant that any further violation will result in eviction. Mediation and dispute resolution services are sometimes also an option.
For more information on the Liberty Safe Residence Program, or becoming a Safe Residence participant, please contact us at 816-439-4701 or email Cpl. Chris Pouliot.