ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) -- St. Louis County police are trying a new approach to deter crime in multiple neighborhoods.
Police said they are aiming their efforts at landlords who rent homes to problem tenants. Officers will document criminal complaints at rental houses.
They will then send the property owner a letter. The letter will inform landlords of criminal activity and remind them that a landlord can be held liable unless the problem is addressed.
Officials said one problem house on a block can bring an entire community down.
“We try to make sure the landlord is just as responsible for what’s going on,” said St. Louis County Police Sergeant Ray Rice, “and is more than just financially invested in the community.”
Sgt. Rice also said they want landlords to be invested in the safety of the other residents who live around their properties.
Police said they have used this approach on apartments in the past, and suggest homeowners have tenants sign a lease agreement that spells out the penalties for a tenant or visitors who engage in crimes.