CMPD will require landlords to register rentals after Jan. 1

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - In less than two weeks, new rules will go into place designed to keep renters in Charlotte safer.

The city and police are now forcing property owners to register.

The rental properties that have the most crime are registered now. Starting Jan. 1, every rental in the city has to do the same thing.

Police said it gives them a way to prevent crime and hold landlords accountable. Renters at Shadowood Apartments on Central Avenue like the idea.

"I think it would be a good idea for them all to register. We have so much crime going on," said Margaret Hamilton.

Starting next year, it will be the law. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officials said it gives them a critical point of contact..

"It's difficult for officers to find owners of property at 2 a.m. when something has happened and we need to find that owner," said Capt. Steve Willis.

They can identify properties that may be on the verge of becoming a trouble spot and sit down with landlords to talk about things like lack of lighting at night.

At first, the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association didn't like the idea, saying there are already two government databases that collect the same information.

After years of talking to police, Director Ken Szymanski thinks it's a good thing.

"The police will do a better job sharing data so the managers can tailor their responses." Szymanski said.

Police can set up email blasts that can alert property owners if a crime happens at their propery or police can alert them if they discover people not on the lease are staying at the home.

Police are giving property owners and managers six months to register. If they don't, they could face misdemeanor criminal charges.

Landlord can register online by going to cmpd.org. It won't be active until Jan. 1.