WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) It’s been almost two years since Wheeling passed its drug house abatement ordinance, and officials say it’s already been a success.
If two misdemeanor vice crimes or one felony regarding drug activity have been filed on a property within a year, the owner can be taken to court.
The owner can then be ordered to evict the tenant, add security measures, ban people from the property and improve renter screening.
Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger says landlords are responding well, and in many cases they’re grateful.
“In one case, the landlord had been trying to evict a problem tenant but was unable to due to COVID and then maybe not having enough cause at the magistrate court,” the chief noted. “So we were very happy to walk over there with that landlord and provide the paperwork that we had filed.”
He says they have used the drug house abatement ordinance in 14 cases.
He says there are five more cases in the system, coming up soon.
It can also be used for other vice cases, like prostitution and illegal gambling