Taking Steps To Hold Property Owners Accountable

We are getting tougher on nuisance properties.

The South Milwaukee Common Council has passed changes to our nuisance property code, strengthening the ordinance to make it easier to hold property owners responsible for persistent police, fire, health and other calls to their addresses. From the revised code

The common council finds that any premises that has generated 3 or more calls for city service for nuisance activities within a 120 day period of time has received more than the level of general and adequate city service and has placed an undue and inappropriate burden on the taxpayers of the city. The Common Council therefore directs the Chief of Police, Fire Chief, Health Department Administrator, City Engineer, Building Inspector and Street Department Superintendent or their designee, whichever may be applicable, report the circumstances of such properties and activities to the Common Council after forwarding to the owners of the involved properties notice of assessment pursuant to this ordinance.

There is a long list of violations that could qualify here, ranging from animal waste and annoying dog complaints to complaints over discharging fireworks and open burning to noise and littering.

The fines is $100 per call/response, once a letter is sent alerting property owners to the nuisance code violations, and within the 120-day window. It can be levied as a special assessment against the premises.

I strongly support this measure. There are real costs to the city for dealing with these problems, and property owners have a responsibility to their tenants, neighbors, and city to ensure this type of activity doesn’t occur too often. This ordinance will help make them accountable.

It takes just one bad property bring down an entire block. We now have more power to stop it.

7 Comments

Filed under South Milwaukee

7 responses to “Taking Steps To Hold Property Owners Accountable

  1. Disco

    Found this in the Wisconsin legal code.”Municipal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over ordinance violations”. This and the fact the Fair Housing Counsel is waiting for you to use this ordinance in the wrong way. Then you have the department of justice coming in. Please check with the company insuring the city, they may say no to this ordinance. A much better solution, is a city wide data base tracking issues to cross reference nesciences, along with the current municipal court system.

  2. Kat Malcz

    I am wondering if you could tell me how I can request a “Deaf Child” sign for our street. My grandson is hearing impaired and we would feel much safer if those who drive our street were aware to watch for him. I think your wife has our number if you want to call or please feel free to email me @ catlovinpackerfan@gmail.com. Thank you in advance for your response. On Feb 4, 2016 5:02 PM, “South Milwaukee Blog” wrote:

    > Erik Brooks posted: “We are getting tougher on nuisance properties. The > South Milwaukee Common Council has passed changes to our nuisance property > code, strengthening the ordinance to make it easier to hold property owners > responsible for persistent police, fire, health an” >

  3. Melanie

    what about properties that are not being kept up?
    I had received a mailing this summer regarding homes in our area that needed attention. One neighbor only had to paint half his house to be compliant. C’mon!!!

    • Pug

      I have a house across the street form me that has no one living in it for over 5 years now. It has become a dumping ground for what I assume are relatives who know the place is empty. they never cut the grass or shovel. The city will cut the grass after you complain about it. But that’s all they’ll do. Pretty soon they’ll owe more in taxes than the house is worth.

  4. Sue

    I find it amazing that a persons home is usually the most expensive thing they own, and they just don’t bother to take care of it. Just go out and look at your own home and take a nice spring day to get out there and pick up garbage, weeds, and other things that have sat there for years and were never touched. It would probably only take a few hours, but I guarantee you will take a bit more pride in the home you once were so proud of and worked so hard to get!

  5. cancankant

    I’m curious what prevents a neighbor from calling in numerous complaints against another in order to “get back” at the other person? I’ve dealt with an unreasonable neighbor in the past and from my perspective, if the complaining neighbor is vindictive, they could actually be the one who is the drain on city services! I think that there are better ways of doing this that don’t rely on fines so much as solving the problems. I enjoy living in a nice neighborhood, but as others have said, one bad neighbor can spoil the block, and sometimes that neighbor isn’t the one having the city called out to their house. It’s the one who is complaining!

  6. Peggy

    Are commercial property owners also held accountable for complaints and/or unsightly debris at their business?

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