Official website for the City of Aurora, Illinois. Mayor Robert J. O'Connor

Frequently asked questions about Crime Free Multi-Housing and the City of Aurora’s Nuisance Abatement Ordinance

1. Who does the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program and the Nuisance Abatement Ordinance pertain to?
The Nuisance Abatement Ordinance applies to all properties within the City of Aurora. The Crime Free Multi-Housing Program is intended for rental properties. Laws regarding rental properties and eviction proceedings can be complicated. Most small property owners operate their rental unit as an investment and may not have the background, information or experience that would assist them in preventing or dealing with problems on their property. The City of Aurora has continuously dealt with cases related to single family homes and rental properties where severe nuisance problems adversely impacted the quality of life, within the neighborhoods, and the property owner was unaware or unable to quickly or effectively resolve the matter. The Crime Free Multi-Housing program can help you be prepared to prevent problems or be ready to quickly and effectively resolve any problems should they occur.
2. What is the Nuisance Abatement Ordinance?
The ordinance is designed to enhance the quality of life by preventing and responding to the safety and security concerns of our community.
3. Who must attend the CFMH Seminar?
All owners of residential, non-owner occupied properties. You only need to attend this seminar once, regardless of the number of properties that you own. There may be times when a property owner (or agent or designee) could be mandated to attend the seminar more than once as a result of a nuisance abatement violation.
4. I live out of state. Do I have to attend?
Not necessarily. If you live out of state, you are required to have a local individual that handles matters for you related to the rental property. With this in mind, the ordinance does state the rental property owner OR agent (manager), OR the owner’s designee shall attend a CFMH seminar. An annual renewal is not needed.
5. What will I learn in the CFMH Seminar?
The Crime Free Multi-Housing Program was developed in 1992 by the Mesa, Arizona Police Department. Over 1700 communities in 44 states and 4 Canadian provinces have been trained in CFMH. The information contained in the seminar is a compilation of experience and proven methods from professional rental property managers, lawyers, and police officers. Seminar topics include:
  • Explanation of the City’s residential rental ordinance
  • CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) overview
  • Applicant Screening, Rental Agreements and Federal Fair Housing Act
  • Crime Prevention, Risk Management and Crime Free Lease Addendum
  • Active Property Management and Working with the Police
  • Trespass Agreements and Nuisance Abatement
  • Kane County Judge discussing leases and evictions
  • Gang and Drug Awareness
  • A workbook and additional valuable resource information
6. Does the ordinance require me to evict a tenant for one criminal incident?
No. The ordinance does not require an eviction based solely on criminal activity. It does require the property owner/manager to take action to ensure no additional incidents occur. The ordinance does require the use of a Crime Free Lease Addendum or use similar wording, in the body of the lease, that makes criminal activity a cause for eviction. It simply provides the property owner the tools and ability to deal with a problem if they choose or need to, possibly leading up to an eviction. The Crime Free Lease Addendum is similar to the one developed by HUD and used in section 8 leases utilized by housing authorities. Evictions based on this concept were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2002 (see Oakland Housing Authority v. Rucker and Department of Housing and Urban Development v. Rucker).
7. Doesn’t the ordinance promote discrimination or profiling?
No. The Federal Fair Housing Act, which is discussed during the seminar and contained in the workbook has seven protected classes. A person’s behavior is not a protected class. The ordinance is designed to provide education and tools to rental property owners that will assist them and empower them to reduce the chances of problems and be prepared to quickly and effectively deal with problem tenants.
8. How can I be held responsible for the actions of my tenants?
A rental property, regardless of size, is in fact a business operation. While the City of Aurora has the power to declare certain businesses a nuisance, it has the right and responsibility to do the same for troublesome rental properties. The ordinance is designed to provide education and tools to rental property owners that will assist them and empower them to reduce the chances of problems and be prepared to quickly and effectively deal with problem tenants.
9. Does Crime Free Multi-Housing really work?
YES!!! This multi-faceted approach to crime prevention is designed to assist property owners and managers to pro-actively avoid problems on the property. Crime and drug infested properties around the country have seen dramatic decreases in calls for police service after CFMH was implemented. On average there is a 68% reduction in calls for service once the CFMH program is set into place. For example the Village of Schaumburg started their Crime Free Multi-Housing Program in 1999. Since then, they have experienced an 11% decrease in calls for police service at their 18 major rental properties. It is apparent that their efforts of their CFMH program working with rental property managers along with their beat teams and specialty units have been effective.
10. National criminal background check & landlord/tenant lease addendum.
All landlords who are licensed to rent properties and who are applying to be licensed to rent properties must:
  • Conduct a national criminal background check on all new non-owner occupants (18 years of age and older) prior to occupying any rental dwelling unit OR at the time of a lease renewal. National criminal background checks must be conducted by a reputable agency that utilizes the national database. A list of a few of the web-based resident screening sites is provided on the Police – Crime Free Multi Housing web page. (Article x Sec. 12-402) (Criminal background checks conducted by the Aurora Police Department no longer meet the ordinance requirements.)
  • Incorporate in the body of all property leases or rental agreements wording substantially similar to that which is found in the City of Aurora’s Landlord-Tenant Lease Ordinance. Owners using written, oral or no lease agreements are required to complete a landlord-tenant lease addendum. This addendum must then be signed and dated by all tenants (18 years of age and older) occupying the rental property. A copy of this three page document is located on the Police – Crime Free Multi Housing web page. (Article X Sec. 12-403)
As a rule of thumb a national background check must be conducted on all tenants that are documented on the landlord-tenant lease addendum.