Chronic Nuisance Property Ordinance

Landlords or property managers in Bremerton city limits please take a moment to learn more about the Chronic Nuisance Properties Ordinance and Landlord Notification Program.

About the Nuisance Ordinance
In 2006 Neighborhood Watch members initiated a collaborative effort to build the Chronic Nuisance Properties Ordinance, which was enacted by the city on January 31, 2008 (Chapter 9.92 Bremerton Municipal Code).

Members of Neighborhood Watch saw the need for an effective tool to deal with properties that are the subject of repetitive police calls and code violations. Previous ordinances were not effective in reaching long term solutions. More than half of all residences in Bremerton are rentals, making this information of particular interest to landlords and property managers.

The goal of the new ordinance is to raise the quality of life in our neighborhoods, reduce the number of police calls for service and hold accountable those property owners that allow nuisance activities to persist. The ordinance is designed for voluntary compliance through graduated steps of action.

Chronic nuisance property is a property on which 3 or more nuisance activities occur or exist during any 60 day period.

Nuisance activity means any criminal activity as defined by the state law or local ordinance.

Acquiring 3 or More Nuisance Activities
What happens when 3 or more nuisance activities occur? When 3 or more nuisance activities occur on a property within 60 days, the Chief of Police or designee reviews reports to determine if the matter constitutes a chronic nuisance. If yes, the landlord is notified that the property is in danger of being declared a chronic nuisance and is requested to contact the city to develop a plan to remedy the problem. If the landlord voluntarily remedies the problem the matter is closed.

In those cases where the landlord fails to respond or does not remedy the problems, the Chief of Police or designee can declare the property a chronic nuisance and issue a civil infraction that includes monetary penalties of up to $1,000. If the matter is still unresolved the case can be referred to the City Attorney for civil action in Superior Court. The city has the burden of proof to show that the property is a chronic nuisance. When the Superior Court finds that the property is a chronic nuisance it can order civil penalties ranging from fines of up to $100 per day to closure of the property for up to 1 year.

In a separate, but related initiative, the Bremerton Police Department developed a method to notify landlords and property managers in a timely manner any time a police officer writes a report involving a property. Please read below for specific details on the Landlord Notification Program.

Bremerton Police Landlord Notification Program
The Bremerton Police Department, through a partnership with the Puget Rental Owners Association (PROA), developed the Landlord Notification Program. Its purpose is to notify, in a timely manner, licensed landlords in Bremerton of police incidents occurring on their properties.

How the Program Works
Pursuant to City Ordinance 5221 "Rental Property Registration" (Chapter 5.06.030(3) of the Bremerton Municipal Code) all landlords must "provide an email or mailing address or other method of contact as approved by the Bremerton Police Department for participation in the Department's Landlord Notification Program for notice of police activity on the rental property." The following information for enrollment in the program includes:
  • Bremerton Landlord License Number
  • Landlord / Managers name
  • Email address, mailing address, or daytime phone number where notification will be sent
  • Street address and apartment number(s) (if any) of the rental property
This information is added to the landlord property list. The Community Resource Unit reviews police incident reports on a regular basis to create a list of incidents by address. Every effort is made to make timely notifications. Weekends and unforeseen circumstances may cause some delays. If an incident address matches an address on the landlord property list, a notification is sent to the landlord / manager with the following information:
  • Date and time incident is reported
  • Police Case Number
  • Type of Incident
  • Address of incident
The landlord can then follow-up with their tenants about the police activity and/or obtain a copy of the police report by making a public disclosure request to the Police Department.

Desired Results

The benefits of this partnership program are threefold:
  • You as landlords will receive timely information about police activities at your property / properties
  • Neighborhoods will be more peaceful through reduction of problem locations
  • Police calls for service will be reduced
More Information
For questions about the program, please contact Community Resource Specialist Joe Sexton with the Bremerton Police Department by calling them at 360-473-5231, or by email.