[AOA: Are you a housing provider in the city of Hesperia? If so, you have our sympathy. A new law was passed and became effective on January 1st of this year. The program and your requirements are listed below.]
Effective January 1st, 2016, any rental property within the city limits of Hesperia is required to participate in the Crime Free Rental Housing Program. This ordinance covers:
- Any property owner or management company of a residential single-family or multi-family rental property
- Any tenant who occupies a residential single-family or multi-family rental property.
The program is designed to assist residents, owners, managers, and anyone else associated with rental properties in keeping illegal activity out of our community and creating a safer environment. Below are the requirements and how to begin.
- 1. Register Your Rental Property
As a property owner and/or property manager, you are responsible for registering your rental properties with the Crime Free Rental Housing Program. The information required includes property management information, owner information, and emergency contact information. The registration must be completed and updated each year on January 1st. The Crime Free Rental Housing Program Registration Form is available to download at http://www.cityofhesperia.us/DocumentCenter/View/13443 Upon completion, please fax the form to 760/949-1566 or email to email@example.com
2. The Crime Free Lease Addendum
This addendum must be included in each current and future rental or lease contract. This addendum complies with the City of Hesperia’s Crime Free Ordinance in which the occupant/resident, any member of the occupant/resident’s household, and any guest or other person under the occupant/resident’s control shall not engage in criminal activity that would violate any federal, state, or local law, on or near the property. Failure to participate in proper registration can result in a fine.
The Crime Free Lease Addendum is available to download at http://www.cityofhesperia.us/DocumentCenter/View/13394
Note: All forms for the City of Hesperia’s Crime Free Rental Housing Program have been adapted from existing forms and cannot be altered or substituted. Any altered or substituted forms will NOT be accepted.
3. Background Checks
- As a property owner and/or property manager, you are responsible for completing a national criminal background check of your prospective adult tenant(s) through any agency of your choice prior to leasing or renting.
- Additionally, there is a mandatory screening process through the Hesperia Sheriff’s Station to determine if your prospective adult tenant has previously violated any rules of the Crime Free Rental Housing Program. The information required for the screening includes your tenants’ full legal name and driver’s license number, as verified from a valid government-issued form of photo identification for adults.
This screening process is only intended for future tenants, not existing tenants. The determination by the Hesperia Sheriff’s Station is to be used at the discretion of the property owner and/or property manager in determining to rent or lease to the prospective adult tenant.
Failure to participate in the tenant screening can result in a fine. The information provided for the screening must be verified and accurate; providing false information will also result in a fine.
The Tenant Screening Form is available to download at http://www.cityofhesperia.us/DocumentCenter/View/13396
Note: The Hesperia Sheriff’s Station does NOT disclose personal information such as reasons for arrest, criminal history, registration of sexual offenders, etc. Such information may be available through other websites with public access, such as the San Bernardino County Superior Court website or Offender Watch.
Inspections will be completed by an officer of the Hesperia Sheriff’s Station to ensure the properties are meeting the standards of CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design). These standards have been adapted by other Crime Free rental programs all over the world and are focused on methods of deterring criminal activity as well as improving the safety of your tenants. At the same time, they assist law enforcement and fire personnel in case of an emergency and keep Code Enforcement for citing you or your tenants for any city code violations.
You and your tenants do not need to be available for the inspections. Each inspection will result in a “PASS”, or a date will be scheduled for a re-inspection and a fine may be issued. Any safety issues that have been addressed by the officer will be listed on the completed inspection and a copy will be provided to the property owner and/or property managers.
A fine may be issued if the corrections are not made within an appropriate amount of time. To learn more about the CPTED inspection, the checklist is available on the main website at http://www.cityofhesperia.us/crimefree
5. Eviction Process
When a property owner and/or property manager is notified that a tenant has engaged in criminal activity on or near the Crime Free property, the eviction process must begin within ten (10) business days of the date of such notice. Proof of the eviction process is required and must be provided to the Hesperia Sheriff’s Station. Any violation(s) of the agreements on the Crime Free Lease Addendum shall be a violation of the lease and good cause for termination of tenancy. Failure to initiate, complete, or provide proof of the eviction process can result in fines.
Information on the eviction process is available on the San Bernardino County Superior Court website.
The Hesperia Sheriff’s Station will be hosting several free workshops throughout the year to offer information regarding the Crime Free Rental Housing Program. Attendance is optional, but highly recommended for the property owners and/or property managers of any rental properties within the city of Hesperia.
At these workshops, you will be informed of the benefits of the program, including strengthened rental agreements, recognition of the warning signs of drug activity, and an improved working relationship with law enforcement. The classes will also include the requirements of the new program, common legal questions, and actions you must take if you or your tenants violate any rules of the Crime Free Rental Housing Program.
Future workshops are listed on the City of Hesperia’s Community Calendar.
Fines and Appeals
- Failure to register a rental property in the City of Hesperia’s Crime Free Rental Housing Program will result in a fine of $350 per single-family residence and $50 (per unit) of the multi-family housing.
- Failure to use the Crime Free Lease Addendum to each rental or lease contract will result in a fine of $250.
- Providing false information in the Crime Free screening will result in a fine of $500.
- A re-inspection (per inspection) may result in a fine of $100. Failure to make corrections after re-inspection will result in a fine of $400.
- Failure to initiate, complete or provide proof of the eviction process will result in fines of $500.
If you have received a citation, you have twenty-one (21) days to pay or appeal it. For additional questions or concerns, contact the City of Hesperia’s Citation Processing Center at 800/989-2058 or the Citation Processing Center’s website.
All forms for the City of Hesperia’s Crime Free Rental Housing Program have been approved and adapted from existing forms and cannot be altered or substituted. Any altered or substituted forms will NOT be accepted.
For specific questions, contacts and their phone numbers are available at http://www.cityofhesperia.us/crimefree.