Community Post

Landlords and drug dealers

An article in today’s Seattle Times discusses a proposal aimed at booting drug dealers from their properties. Some folks in the CD have long complained about known drug houses (mostly rentals) and how hard it’s been to get the occupants out, despite the fact that everyone knows what the occupants are up to. Does the city of Seattle have a similar ordinance? What’s the best way for neighbors to discreetly get the proper authorities to take action against known drug houses? (yes, we know police cannot make an arrest unless they see the crime occur).

Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn has proposed an ordinance aimed at helping landlords remove drug dealers from their properties and levy fines against those who willfully ignore criminal activity at their rentals.

The proposed “Safer Neighborhoods Ordinance” has bipartisan support in the council and was crafted with the support and assistance of the King County Sheriff’s Office and the Rental Housing Association of Puget Sound, Dunn said at a news conference Thursday.

Under the proposed ordinance, the Sheriff’s Office would notify landlords each time deputies are called to a rental property in connection with certain kinds of serious criminal activities.

Once a landlord has received three separate offense reports about tenants suspected of committing drug or sex crimes within a six-month period, a landlord would be required to take steps to curtail the illegal activity or face financial penalties.

0 thoughts on “Landlords and drug dealers

  1. Check with “the neighborhhod group”, the non-profit that supports the East Precient Crime Coalition. You can have property abated by the city as a nusience. They have the information and support.

  2. This seems like an idea that is certainly worth considering. I’m not convinced it will be realistically possible to enforce though.

    Moreover, I personally am aware of 3 separate properties in the neighborhood (two of which are at 27th & E. Spring) where the property owner permits illegal activity though may or may not participate directly. For example, in one case the home is owned by an elderly woman who is a shut in. As I understand it, her relatives are those responsible for the drug activity. While she may or may not condone the activity, she is effectively powerless to put a halt to it.

    For this ordinance to be effective (at least in the areas with which I am familiar) it would need to be more broadly written to accommodate resident landowners in addition to absentee landlords.

  3. PROHIBITION never works it just CAUSES CRIME & VIOLENCE. The USA spends $69 billion a year on the drug war, builds 900 new prison beds and hires 150 more correction officers every two weeks, arrests someone on a drug charge every 17 seconds, jails more people than any nation and has killed over 100,000 citizens in the drug war. In 1914 when there were NO PROHIBITED DRUGS 1.3% of our population was addicted to drugs, TODAY 1.3% of our population is STILL ADDICTED TO DRUGS BUT THERE’S WAY MORE CRIME AND VIOLENCE BECAUSE OF THE HUGE PROFITS PROHIBITION GENERATES. DRUGS TODAY ARE ALSO MORE POTENT, MORE READILY AVAILABLE AND LESS EXPENSIVE THAN THEY WERE IN THE EARLY 70’S WHEN RICHARD NIXON STARTED THE WAR ON DRUGS. The only way to control drugs is to REGULATE THEM AND END THE PROFITS AVAILABLE TO CRIMINALS just like ending alcohol prohibition did. There’s only been one drug success story in history, tobacco, BY FAR THE MOST DEADLY and one of the MOST ADDICTIVE drugs. Almost half the users quit because of REGULATION, ACCURATE INFORMATION AND MEDICAL TREATMENT. No one went to jail and no one got killed. But what about the kids?… PROHIBITED DRUGS ARE WAY EASIER FOR KIDS TO GET THAN REGULATED DRUGS!
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  4. We were very effective working with the police and city in the 1990’s and abated many houses which were turned over to first time home owners. A team of city staff, police and neighbors screened prospective buyers. We eliminated the Bloods, Crops and Black Gangster Disciples.

    Some are out of jail and back. Wee need to weed out the rest!

  5. Drug law reform is a fundamental factor in addressing the violence and other crime associated with narcotics activity, particularly with respect to marijuana laws. (check out “Marijuana, It’s Time for a Conversation” from the ACLU) However, access to narcotics is not the question that is being addressed here. The question is neighborhood safety. Perhaps when the drug laws in this country become more rational, then the need for ordinances as described here will become less important. But in the meantime, I believe it may be effective in cutting down the frequency with which we have to deal with neighborhood gunfire, discarded syringes and even garbage on our lawns.

  6. I appreciate the sentiment of wanting to clean things up, but asking a private citizen to enforce the law is simply unconstitutional. As well, a property owner evicting a tenant based on “offense reports” and not arrests is opening themselves up to a whole lotta liability. The last time I looked at a law book, vigilantiism was still against the law. And, I couldn’t agree more with the person above who says regulation, not criminalization. The “War on Drugs” is lost, government zero, drug dealers 100%.