Bond could be required for rowdy houses

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WILDWOOD- The city is taking its rowdy house ordinance a step further by asking frequent offenders to pay up.

City Commissioners adopted an ordinance Feb. 13 requiring landlords that have had two or more complaints made against their properties in one year will have to post at least a $500 bond. The maximum amount for the bond, the ordinance says, is $5,000.

The city will then hold the bond for four years. If during that time another substantial complaint is made against the property, the landlord will forfeit his bond to the city.

According to the ordinance, a substantial compliant is one about disorderly, indecent, tumultuous, or riotous conduct. Simple assault, terroristic threats, harassment, urinating in public, lewdness, criminal mischief, and excessive noise are all cited in the ordinance as examples of conduct that would amount to a substantial complaint.

These bonds, the ordinance says, will be used for damages to public or private property, securing the payment of fines and penalties for the rowdy house’s offenses, and compensating the municipality for the costs of responding to and prosecuting incidents.

If during the four years the city holds the bond there are no complaints against the property, the landlord is entitled to the bond being returned.

City officials started their crackdown on rowdy houses in September 2011, when they passed an ordinance that gave the city the ability to track houses that required frequent attention from municipal services, like police and fire. In January, Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. said the city was also expanding the rowdy house ordinance to cover year-round rental properties. Previously, the ordinance only applied to seasonal rentals.

A similar rowdy house ordinance was passed in North Wildwood in November. Mayor Bill Henfey told the Leader that police in the city were able to keep track of properties that needed frequent attention, but the new ordinance would allow them to impose hefty fines if those properties had two complaints against them in a 12-month period. Like Wildwood’s ordinance, North Wildwood also established procedures for landlords to post bonds if their properties had frequent substantial complaints. The maximum bond in North Wildwood is also $5,000.

Christie Rotondo can be emailed at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can comment on this story at www.wildwood.shorenewtoday.com. 


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