Rockford area landlords now have options when it comes to signing up for an online database, but that doesn't change the deadline. If you miss it, prepare to pay the price.
The Residential Quality Support Ordinance has been amended to now accept paper applications for those without Internet access. Originally, you could only sign up electronically. Landlords get a couple months to try it out, but there's one aspect of this ordinance that isn't changing.
"The absolute deadline for getting in your application whether electronic or paper is March 1st." -says City of Rockford Information Technology Department Director Glenn Trommels.
This ordinance requires landlords to give contact information to the City of Rockford in exchange for electronic notification when police or fire are called to their properties.
"That was a problem that we've always had through the years is that the neighbors would become angry because things were happening and they were assuming the landlord knew when the landlord didn't." -says Rockford Apartment Association President Paul Arena.
As part of the new law, after that March 1st deadline if property sells or changes hands landlords can file a new application on paper until March 31st. But, it's recommended to do all registering online. City leaders say adjusting the law to include paper could come with a cost.
"We know for sure it's going to take extra staff time which we didn't anticipate when this ordinance first went into effect." -Trommels explains.
Also, a paper-based system might change how landlords are notified if they don't have access to a computer.
"We'll make a best effort to try and contact those landlords if that's phone calls or paper mail we still have to figure that out. That would definitely impact staff time and cost because there's a cost of sending mail." -Trommels says.
Click here to register online.
City leaders say if you don't have Internet access, maybe a family member or friend does. The Rockford Apartment Association is offering help to get landlords signed up electronically, February 26th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Rockford Area Association of Realtors building, 6776 East State Street. You can pick up paper applications at Rockford City Hall, 425 East State Street.
If you miss the March 1st deadline, after 30 days you could face a $50 penalty, $150 after the second month and it could be a daily penalty after that.
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