Rental Registration

Questions about rental property registration and inspection.

How do I file a request for an extension?

If a landlord needs more than 21 days to remedy the code violation, he or she may file a Request for Extension with the Zoning Office. Simply filing a request does not guarantee an extension, however. Each request will be reviewed by the Zoning Office to determine if an extension is warranted, and the landlord will be notified within two business days of the decision.

A Request for Extension form is included with the initial inspection report. The form is also available from the Zoning Office during normal City Hall hours.

How does the City determine which rental properties to inspect?

The City maintains a database of rental properties within the city limits of Monmouth. That list is randomized to determine the order of inspections. If the Zoning Office receive a complaint on a rental property, then that inspection becomes a priority and an inspection will be scheduled immediately.

What if I refuse to let City officials inspect my rental property?

Inspection of rental units will be performed by consent or the issuance of a warrant. If consent has not been given by the property owner, no entry shall be made without the procurement of a warrant from the court system.

The following are factors, along with other matters, that the court may use in its decision to issue a warrant:

  • Eyewitness account of violation
  • Citizen complaints
  • Tenant complaints
  • Plain view violations
  • Violations apparent from City records
  • Property deterioration
  • Age of property
  • Nature of alleged violation
  • Condition of similar properties in the area

Will I be notified prior to the inspection?

Yes. The Fire Department schedules the inspections and makes contact with the owner or agent prior to the inspection. Landlord may also request inspections. (This may be desired by the landlord due to a change in tenants.)

Are rental properties inspected yearly?

No. When a rental unit is issued a certificate of inspection, it is good for three years. The City will notify you when it is time for another inspection. If a re-inspection of the premises has not been completed prior to the expiration of the certificate of inspection, the rental unit may continue to be rented until the re-inspection is completed.

If a complaint is received regarding a rental unit, however, the City may inspect the premises right away.  

Can I do the repair work myself?

As the owner, you are entitled to do renovation work on a rental unit yourself. However, in the State of Illinois, you are required to hire a licensed plumber to do any plumbing work if the home/unit is not owner-occupied.

Also, if you hire someone to replace a roof, that company needs to be licensed with the State of Illinois. (If you are roofing the house yourself, you do not need to be licensed.)

Do owner-occupied units get inspected?

No. Owner-occupied units of a rental dwelling (like a duplex or a multi-family dwelling) are exempt from being registered and inspected. The other unit(s), however, do need to be registered and are subject to the rental inspection process.

What are some common rental definitions?

Rental unit: Each unit providing complete independent living facilities for one or more permanent residents, other than the owner, which has provisions for sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.

Landlord: The legal title holder of the premises, as shown by the records of the Warren County Recorder of Deeds Office, which has one or more rental units on it.  If the legal title holder is a land trust, however, the landlord shall mean the beneficial owner or owners of the land trust.

Tenant: The person, or persons, occupying a rental unit who is not a legal title holder of the premises.

Local agent: A person 21 years of age or older who resides in Warren County or maintains an office in Warren County. The local agent shall be authorized by the landlord to receive notices of code violations and receive process in any court.

What are the annual fees per rental unit?

During October, landlords can register their properties at no charge.

For other months, these fees apply:

  • Single family dwelling (containing one unit): $25
  • Dwellings with two to five units: $35
  • Dwellings containing more than five units: $45

For apartment complexes, each separate building is assessed a registration fee. For example, a building containing five rental units costs $35. If there are four of these buildings, the total cost is $140 ($35 x 4).  

For mobile home parks, a single trailer is considered one rental unit, and the entire park is considered one dwelling. For example, a mobile home park that contains nine separate mobile homes costs $45 to register.

What can I expect from a rental inspection?

Rental units must meet certain minimum living standards for the health, safety and protection of the tenants. Please see the form below, so you will know what to expect. 

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What happens if my rental property fails an inspection?

If a rental unit fails to pass an initial inspection, the landlord is given 21 days to remedy the violations. (A detailed report is mailed to the landlord.) After 21 days, the inspector will re-inspect the rental unit.

If the unit does not pass the re-inspection, the landlord will be issued a $50 ordinance violation ticket and given an additional ten days to remedy the situation.

If the rental unit fails to pass the third inspection, the landlord will be issued a $250 ordinance violation ticket. Beyond that, the landlord may be fined up to $750 per day that the rental unit is in code violation.