Condos to start crime-free leasing
The Lodge at Lake Dillon will begin running criminal background checks on prospective tenants, among other changes BY NICOLE FORMOSASummit Daily NewsDILLON – The Lodge at Lake Dillon resident manager Allan Hedin relates a recent countywide drug bust to “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”In the May 10 bust, two of the condominium complex’s renters were arrested and charged with possession and distribution of cocaine.At the time, several other issues had already been dealt with in the past year involving renters at the 53-unit complex, including noise complaints and a marijuana confiscation.”We can’t have marijuana seizures and cocaine seizures on a regular basis,” Hedin said. “I’m happy the owners put in the rules that they did to ensure the safety of the people living in the building.”The rules Hedin referred to are called crime-free leasing, and are designed to assure the quality of long-term tenants making their homes in the building, said Lodge at Lake Dillon board member Jeff Sahr.The board had been discussing implementing crime-free leasing for some time, after hearing about it from Hedin, who received his information from Lodge resident and Dillon Police Chief John Mackey, but fast-tracked the program after the drug bust.At the owners’ annual meeting in May, the group affirmed the recommendation from the board to move forward with the changes.Starting July 1, Hedin will meet with any potential renters and have them fill out a building-specific application outlining the house rules, as well as run a criminal background check on the future residents, which requires a form of identification verifying they are legal U.S. citizens.The prospective renters will also be given a crime-free lease addendum, stating they will not engage in any criminal activity, and will report any criminal activity they witness to management. Failure to do so can result in eviction.Chief Mackey said the point is to keep illegal activity out of rental properties by forming a relationship between the police and landlords.”The goal is not to take action on every loud stereo issue, but to have a process in place when we do have repeated calls for service that we make the landlord aware of them,” Mackey said.Mackey saw the program – which was created by the U.S. Department of Justice – succeed in Lakewood, when he was an officer there.When he took the chief’s position in Dillon early last year, he said he knew he wanted to bring crime-free leasing to the town. He started with the Lodge at Lake Dillon, not because there is more crime there than in any other complex in town, but because, being a resident, he was already familiar with management. Mackey also hopes to have a success story to help promote crime-free leasing to other complexes in Dillon. By next year, he and the other local police chiefs and the sheriff hope to expand crime-free leasing countywide, Mackey said.To Mackey’s knowledge, crime-free leasing is not currently taking place anywhere in Summit County.While enacting these changes could be seen as an aggressive move by the Lodge at Lake Dillon, Sahr described it more as a proactive one by the board.For the past five years, The Lodge has been self-managed, meaning owners no longer rely on a property management company for maintenance, or other issues at the building.Instead, it staffs a resident manager, and before Hedin was hired almost three years ago, the board was often in the dark about crime or other problems at the complex, Sahr said.”I have a feeling the junk has been there all along. It’s just we’re more aware of it and we’re trying to address it in a more direct and firm way,” Sahr said.For Hedin, it’s an issue of livability.”I’ve got too many kids living on the property to compromise the safety of the building and it’s just not something I’m going to do,” he said.Of the 53 units at the Lodge, five are occupied by primary owners, 19 are long-term rentals and the remainder are second homes or short-term rentals.Crime-free leasingThis is a crime prevention program that Dillon Police Chief John Mackey hopes to take town-wide. Those interested should call the Dillon Police Department at (970) 468-6078.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13625, or at email@example.com.
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