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Vacant Properties
America is experiencing a crisis in the housing market, and the City of Rock Island is no exception. Residents may not realize how close to home this problem can be, as many areas in the City now have homes in financial distress or foreclosure. A number of these properties are or will become vacant unless the owners can obtain refinancing.

Vacant or foreclosed properties offer additional hurdles beyond financial issues:
  • There is no one in residence to maintain the property or respond to compliance notices. 
  • Identifying the owner and party responsible for upkeep is an issue. Once identified and notified, institutions have their own internal processes or third party contractors that are involved before work orders are issued. 
  • There is the attraction by certain individuals to vacant properties for various kinds of mischief.

    Limits of Actions by the City
    The City cannot require a property owner to occupy a building or maintain the property beyond what is required in City Code. The City does not own vacant or foreclosed buildings, unless the City purchases the property and becomes the sole owner of the property. The City cannot manage or take responsibility of the property for the owner, unless the City purchases the property and becomes the sole owner.

    Building & Property Maintenance Issues
    Be aware of and promptly report any suspicious activity such as people in the yard or house, or people removing items from a vacant property.

    The Inspection Division needs to know if someone is working on a vacant property to verify that they have the proper authorization, licenses, and permits.

    Suspicious Activity Issues
    The Police Department has an interest in trespassing, damaging, or stealing, and these issues require a timely notification to be effective. Neighbors are asked to keep an eye on vacate properties until new neighbors move in to take care of them.

    Reporting Suspicious Activities or Property Maintenance Concerns
    Residents have two options to report suspicious activity or building and property maintenance concerns at vacant or foreclosed property:
    • Building and Property Maintenance Concerns - Report these concerns to the Inspection Division (callers may remain anonymous) or fill out a Report a Problem online form. All complaints will be investigated.
    • Suspicious Activity Concerns - Contact the Police Department or dial 911 for emergencies to report suspicious activity at vacant or foreclosed property.