Proposed ordinance would terminate leases for criminal activity - WNEM TV 5

Proposed ordinance would terminate leases for criminal activity

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A new proposed ordinance is under discussion in a Mid-Michigan city that would require tenants to sign a crime-free lease with their landlord.

Under the agreement, tenants who engage in criminal activity can have their leases terminated and be kicked out immediately.

John Stemple is Chief Inspector for the city of Saginaw. He's looking at ways to reduce crime.  Stemple is discussing a plan with local leaders and landlords that he says would make apartments here safer.

"It certainly doesn't promote home ownership. It doesn't promote people to maintain their home, stay in the city. Everybody wants to live where it's safe," says Stemple.

Stemple says his plan would create a crime free multi-housing program. Similar to the one already in place in Saginaw Township. The biggest part of the program is the crime free lease addendum.

It gives landlords the right to evict a tenant immediately if they are involved in criminal activity on the landlord's property.

Meanwhile, law enforcement officials in Saginaw Township say the program has worked for them.

Township Police Lieutenant Gary Grauf tells TV5 the crime free lease has been in place for the last twenty years. During that time he says crime at apartment complexes in the township has dropped sharply.

"Over the years, it's sent a message that bad behavior is not going to be tolerated in any of these apartment communities," says Stemple.

That's the kind of message Stemple wants to bring to the city. His plan is to make Saginaw a place where criminals know they are not welcome.

City leaders and the city landlord association still working to draft the language for the proposed ordinance.

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