#1 - The statement, "Owners occupying their two-flats would be exempt from the fee" is a little misleading. They would be exempt from the $25 fee for the unit they live in, but still charged $25 for each additional unit, plus the $10 owner fee, plus be required to pay for and attend a training class. Not to mention being required to follow all the other requirements of licensing. There is some confusion wether licensing would still apply if the second unit is occupied by family or is empty.
#2 - The council (consisting of three landlords and the remainder being fair housing, tenant and citizen safety advocates) is primarily in favor of registration vs licensing by a factor of 75% to 25%. This is based on the poll Mr. Perille took early in the meeting. Only two members of the council were in favor of licensing.
#3 - There was much more agreement by the council, then the vociferousness or grappling stated. Everyone in attendance backed landlord education. Everyone backed identification of building owners. Everyone agreed that there was an increasing perception of crime and a lack of safety in Skokie. Everyone agreed that something/many things need to be done - not just by landlords, but also by the Village, by the Skokie Police, by the Skokie Parks department and others.
Landlords, like homeowners, have made huge investments in their properties and in Skokie. They want a safe, attractive environment for their tenants in order to encourage rentals, as well as to insure the value of their investment. Many, if not most, live in Skokie too.
Skokie landlords are just concerned that this ordinance, which offers little help that isn't already provided by Village code, would be a hindrance to attracting and keeping good landlords, while avoiding or white-washing over the real solutions needed. If anyone wants a full line-by-line explanation of why Skokie landlords (as well as tenants and homeowners) are against the ordinance as drafted, visit our Stop Tenant Tax page and get the facts.
Visit us on Facebook at Skokie Independent Landlord Association.