It allows landlords or management companies to add an addendum to a new or renewing leases with the tenant agreeing not to engage in any criminal behavior or be subject to a 24-hour eviction notice.
The Harshaws said they immediately signed up to go through the three-phase process to begin the journey to make their properties Crime Free-certified.
The first phase is an eight-hour class taught by the Norman Police Department. Several of their complexes are in the second phase of reworking environmental elements like landscaping and strengthening exteriors to make the properties more of a hard target against crime elements. In that phase, the properties are then inspected and approved by the NPD.
Margie said they try to work with good current tenants after acquiring a complex, and by law leases are not terminated by a sale. But eventually, the tenants must make a choice when the lease is up.
“Are you going to move to a nice, new apartment and pay higher rent or are you going to move out,” she said. “If they are decent tenants, I want to keep them.”
And because the property owners can do a better job of providing a quality of life and increase personal safety for their tenants, she said many existing and new tenants are willing to pay market value for their rents.
For example, rents that were about $300 for a one-bedroom in the rundown Scholars West are now at a market value of $575 in the slick, attractive Warehouse Flats and include water, sewer, trash and Cox high-speed Internet.
Sean said banks and financing entities are more likely to finance renovations when it’s a new owner with a track record of successful renovations and rehabilitations.
“Banks aren’t just giving cash out,” he said. “New acquisitions have different rules. It puts me in a better position.”