Problem Properties Unit
What is the Problem Property Unit?
A St. Louis County partnership between Law Enforcement and Code Enforcement. Our teams consist of County Police Officers and Public Works Code Enforcement Inspectors. They tackle and solve especially persistent Problem Properties—the poorly maintained addresses that drive down land values and prompt neighbors to move. This unit works by referral only from fellow St. Louis County departments as well as local school districts.
How Do They Do It?
St. Louis County’s Problem Property Unit marshals an immense array of resources to accomplish its mission. They are experts at using churches, volunteer groups, charities, governmental agencies and private sector businesses to make a positive and lasting change that benefits the community in general, the neighborhood and, more often than not, the problem property owner him/herself. We have coordinated remarkable changes in hundreds of properties.
‘Problem Property:’ What is it?
Problem properties affect us all—rich, middle class and poor communities alike. They’re the front yards overrun with vegetation, abandoned boats and scrap iron. They’re the houses with sagging porches and boarded-up windows. They’re the lots cluttered with engine blocks, bags of refuse and toppled over sheds. No city’s property maintenance code is infallible. Eventually, a particular address—similar to one of those described above— will become a headache for your community.
Problem Properties: Contributing Factors
Old age, mental and physical health problems, divorce, job loss, child abuse, substance abuse, gambling, bankruptcy, grief, crime and isolation are all source causes. These conditions lead to hoarding, child and animal neglect and dilapidated homes.
Services Offered by St. Louis County’s Problem Property Unit
· Physical investigation and in-depth records research
· Counseling of problem landlords
· On-site warnings to problem tenants
· Finding absent landlords
· Removal of trash and debris
· Prosecution at the state level
· Demolition of condemned buildings
· Orders to vacate
· Coordination of social services and public and private sector resources