Park View leaders hope landlord regulations will reduce crime

PARK VIEW, Iowa. (KWQC) - Park View is a small town with a growing crime problem. The Scott County Sheriff's Department says the amount of calls from park view has more than doubled in the past five years. That's prompting leaders in the town of 2,500 to set new regulations for landlords, asking for background checks for tenants.

Park View is a small town with a growing crime problem. The Scott County Sheriff's Department says the amount of calls from park view has more than doubled in the past five years. That's prompting leaders in the town of 2,500 to set new regulations for landlords, asking for background checks for tenants.

"There are guidelines you have to follow for communities over 15,000. Other than that, there's really no guidelines set for the state," said Patrick Dodge, the Scott County Liaison for the Park View Board of Directors

In a town of nearly 3,000, there are no requirements for landlords to do background checks on tenants or to do yearly inspections. Dodge said that's affected their small town, "unfortunately it's just allowed some landlords to not have any consequences for neglecting the conditions of their property or the goings-on on their properties. We have some great landlords in park view who are proactive and are great assets to our community. Unfortunately, there are others who are neglectful and we're seeing that in recent years."

A tenant who wished to remain anonymous says she's seen it all over the last 13 years, "it's changed quite a bit. I've had four different landlords since I've lived here. The building structure itself needs lots of repairs, it's slowly getting there but it's taking a while." She says she's seen domestic fights between neighbors and has even gotten thrown into one herself. "I've seen a lot of bad things happen personally I've had issues with neighbors here over the few years. It needs to be a tighter background check I believe, on who they're letting in here and why they're letting them in here."

Patrick Dodge said he's heard numerous complaints from residents about landlords: "their standard of living isn't what they'd expect and they run into a dead-end trying to work with their landlord. So simple things like code violations, issues with heating in the winter, cooling in the summer, that type of thing. And beyond that, the sheriff's office can attest to the sheer number of calls for ongoing criminal concerns."

Since 2014, the number of calls from Park View went from 1187 to nearly 2500 in 2019. While TV6's Montse Ricossa was out there, three different police agencies were investigating a burglary in progress.

"The times are changing. I don't think Park View is unique in that regard but unfortunately, others have a way to address and Park View hasn't until now," said Dodge.

Park View residents are asked to attend the proposed regulation meeting tomorrow at 6 P.M. at the Scott County Library System. After hearing the resident's concerns, the Board of Supervisors will vote on whether they'll pass the regulation.