Feb 11 2011
Nothing ruins a neighborhood like a bad neighbor, and everyone knows that bad neighbors drive good ones out. Now, not everyone has the same taste, or ideas about how to live, and one person’s tub in the front yard filled with flowers is another person’s eye sore, but some things, such as criminal conduct, cannot and will not be tolerated by the City of Hammond.
About a year ago, I began what has now successfully become known as the Nuisance Property Project. I was fortunate that the Hammond Municipal Code allows the City of Hammond to cite a property owner for Maintaining a Nuisance, Use of Real Estate for Illegal Activities and, what we find most commonly, Landlord Ignoring Illegal Activity on the Premises. What the City found is many landlords live out of Hammond, even live in other States, and really have no idea, nor any concern, for the rent paying tenant that is terrorizing the neighborhood in which we all live.
What the Nuisance Property Project does, is allows the City of Hammond to cite the property owner for the tenant’s criminal acts occurring on the property they own and should be maintaining. The landlord has a choice, pay a fine, or evict the troublesome tenants. Some of the properties have been so badly maintained that the City has been forced to demolish them. Most of the landlords have, begrudgingly, complied, and those who have not have been fined in the Hammond City Court. To date, 83 properties, most owned by out of town landlords, have been cited to appear before the Hammond Judge, and thanks to the hard work of the Hammond Police Department, the City has had no trouble making its case before the Judge.
If you have a nuisance property in your neighborhood, please let us know, we’re here to help you. Please feel free to offer any suggestions or request information you would like to see added. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.