Biden Announces Landlord Training to Reduce Neighborhood Crime
Sessions engage rental property owners with focus on proven techniques to reduce crime in rental properties
Wilmington – As part of its ongoing effort to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in
throughout Delaware, Attorney General Beau Biden’s office is continuing its landlord training initiative to give property owners the knowledge and tools they need to combat criminal activity on their properties and avoid legal sanctions under the state’s Drug Nuisance and Social Vices Abatement Act. Five day-long trainings have already been held by his Nuisance Abatement Program and the next landlord training session will take place this coming Saturday, September 29, in Wilmington.
“Our message to landlords is clear – you have responsibilities to the communities where you own rental properties,” Biden said. “Over the past 18 months we have trained more than 300 landlords on how to
reduce neighborhood crime. Saturday’s training in Wilmington, where approximately half of all properties are rentals, gives owners information and tools they need to prevent and respond to crime that occurs on their properties, but also makes it clear that we will take legal action against them if they allow that activity to take place.”
The Attorney General’s landlord training initiative addresses a pattern of criminal activity at
rental properties statewide. A focus of the initiative is the City of Wilmington, where approximately half of its 32,000 properties are rentals. In the higher crime areas of the City, that rate increases to approximately 75%. The majority of criminal nuisance complaints in Wilmington and statewide that have been referred to Biden’s Nuisance Abatement Program stem from rental properties whose owners often claim to be unaware of the illegal activity on-site or lack knowledge to effectively manage their properties. These landlords frequently fail to perform criminal background checks on their tenants, and often have deficient leases and rental applications, or none at all.
To proactively reduce crime in rental properties, the Attorney General’s Office offers daylong
training seminars to ensure that property owners understand their responsibilities under the law
and have the tools to be effective landlords and responsible community members. The
next training will be held this Saturday, September 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Carvel State Office Building Auditorium, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington. It will feature presenters from the Attorney General’s Office, police, and private legal practices. Presentations will cover topics including identifying gang and drug activity, criminal background screening, eviction proceedings, Fair Housing laws, nuisance property laws, and crime prevention through environmental design. The trainings are focused on landlords, but are open to anyone. While training is voluntary, failure to attend or failure to abide by the suggestions will be factored into determining future courses of legal action against certain properties and their owners.
Landlords, tenants, and members of the community who have questions about this week’s
landlord training, or want to report a property to the Attorney General’s office are encouraged to call
the Nuisance Abatement Program at (302) 577- 8500.
The Attorney General’s Nuisance Abatement program uses the state’s Criminal Nuisance Abatement Act to identify and investigate properties where drug, gun and violent crime is permitted to flourish, and offers property owners the choice to abate the nuisance or be forced to defend themselves in court. The Attorney General’s office identifies nuisance properties statewide through its own investigations and in cooperation with state and local police agencies, local authorities, civic associations, and neighborhood residents. To date, over 125 nuisances have been abated and nearly 400 properties remain on the Program’s “watch list.” Additionally, more than a dozen properties have been shut down because they were found to present an immediate threat to the health, safety and welfare of the surrounding community.
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