Anoka resurrects resource group for landlords, property managers

Managing Editor
Mandy has been with ABC Newspapers since 2007, when she joined the staff as the editor of the Anoka County Union. She has been the managing editor of the UnionHerald and Blaine Spring Lake Park Life since 2014.

Later this month, the Landlord and Manager’s Association of Anoka will be relaunched.

The group used to be active, but has been defunct for several years.

With the launch of the Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving unit 18 months ago, it’s making a comeback with Anoka Police Department’s COPPS officer Paul Schley as its facilitator.

The first meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 28, at the Anoka Police Department. All are welcome and no RSVP is required.

The group will meet quarterly and address questions and concerns that come up related to the challenges faced by landlords, tenants and police.

Schley said there is a lot of diversity in Anoka’s rental community, from mom and pop landlords who rent out one house to professional property management companies.

And there is a need to share information and resources all around.

The June 28 kickoff will focus on an outline of what crime free multi-housing is. Schley will explain crime-free, drug-free lease addendums; discuss what constitutes a rental violation; and provide information on the city’s ordinance for rental properties.

As the COPPS officer, Schley has spent the last 18 months developing relationships in Anoka’s rental community. Schley’s top priority is to implement Anoka’s crime free multi-housing program, helping to reduce crime, drugs, illegal activity and nuisance calls in rental communities.

Proactive, community-oriented policing can have many benefits.

“I’m an advocate for the landlords, for the tenants and for the city,” Schley said.

He calls his job fun, which may come as a surprise to some.

“I can’t think of anyone that isn’t fun to work with,” Schley said.

He also acts as a police liaison to Anoka’s business community.

For the size of the city, Anoka has a significant amount of rental property.

Just over 45 percent of Anoka’s households are rentals, compared to 23 percent in neighboring Coon Rapids.

In 2016, Anoka had 2,979 licensed rental apartments and 285 single family homes registered as rental properties.

Schley is a self-professed “data nerd” and uses statistics to keep himself and the community informed.

In 2016, the Anoka Police Department responded to 24,070 calls for service.

About 20 percent of those calls were to rental properties, according to the department’s data.

According to Police Chief Eric Peterson, the COPPS unit, and Schley, are seeing a lot of success.

“During officer Schley’s involvement in rental licensing and rental housing, he has received exceptional responses from landlords and property owners in Anoka,” Peterson said. “So things are working well there.”

Peterson said he hopes landlords and property managers view the police as a resource in achieving a common goal of providing safe, nuisance-free places to live in Anoka.

The police department recently added an administrative support person to assist Schley, and a second COPPS officer will join the unit this summer.

Questions about the Landlord and Manager’s Association of Anoka should be directed to Schley at 763-576-2813.

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