If you own a single-family home in North Riverside and you rent it out, you now will be required to register the property with the village.

On July 11, the North Riverside Village Board voted to pass the new law to deal with the rental properties, whose numbers have grown since the 2008 real estate crash.

“We want to get some control,” said Village Administrator Guy Belmonte. “We have some very good landlords, but we also have some who, as long as they get their $2,000 a month, they don’t care.”

Belmonte said the use of single-family homes as rental properties has increased in recent years, though the village has not kept official statistics on the subject.

“Forty years ago we probably had no rentals,” Belmonte said. “Now we have corporations that buy houses and rent them.”

According to Karyn Byrne, who is the code enforcement officer for the village of North Riverside, there are approximately 85 single-family homes being used as rental properties in the village.

In a village containing just about 2,055 single-family homes, that represents about 4 percent of the total.

And while the village already has in place a registry for multifamily residential rental properties, it lacked one for single-family homes, duplexes and townhomes.

“It’s not a huge problem,” Byrne said. “We’re just trying to be proactive. There have been a lot of foreclosures purchased. Some are flipped and some are turned into rental units.”

The problem for the village, said Byrne, is that in some cases where there have been issues with a single-family rental property, it’s been tough to track down who is responsible for managing the residence, particularly homes owned by corporations.

“We have a hodgepodge of landlords,” Byrne said. “This will help us identify who to contact and get immediate information.”

Byrne ran into one such problem early this year, after a New Year’s Eve incident in the 2200 block of Northgate Avenue. Two visitors to a rental home reportedly decided to celebrate the New Year by firing a gun in the air more than 20 times.

Police charged the two men with reckless discharge of a firearm, but the village had trouble tracking down the owner of the property to inform them of the problem.

“The house was owned by an organization, and it took us time to track down the Texas property manager,” said Byrne, who also learned the same organization owned one of the houses next door as well.

Since reaching out to that person, Byrne said, she’s heard no more complaints about the property and “the property manager has been very responsive.”

One of the purposes of the registry is to track how many people are living in a rental home. The ordinance the village board passed last week includes rules to limit occupancy.

“We didn’t have a program in the past to keep tabs on how many people might be living in a unit,” Byrne said. “We wanted something so homes are not over-occupied based on national standards.”

Under the new code, two people per bedroom (eight people for a four-bedroom home, for example) are allowed to live in a single-family rental. According to the code, “no owner shall permit the total number of occupants of any dwelling or dwelling unit to exceed the maximum occupancy permitted.”

The village’s single-family home registry application form requires property owner information as well as information for each tenant living at the home, including vehicle information.

Owners must pay $50 to initially register the home and must reapply annually or whenever tenants change, according to the ordinance passed by the village board.

The village’s building inspector is also allowed per the new law to inspect single-family rentals whenever there’s a change in occupancy to make sure the home complies with building codes.

As for monitoring how many people are living in a home, Byrne said the village would respond to complaints and then seek to verify issues by issuing a written request to inspect the home. If there’s enough evidence of overcrowding, the village could seek an administrative search warrant, though it’s never come to that in the past, according to Byrne.

“Usually they comply and allow a follow-up inspection,” Byrne said. “By the time we get in, it isn’t a problem anymore.”