|
|
|
The Times
  • Common Council passes registry law

  • The members of the Little Falls Common Council voted unanimously on Tuesday evening to create a database of the location and ownership of the city’s rental properties. Police Chief Michael Masi said the rental dwelling registry law will help promote better management of rental properties within Little Falls...
    • email print
  • The members of the Little Falls Common Council voted unanimously on Tuesday evening to create a database of the location and ownership of the city’s rental properties.
    Police Chief Michael Masi said the rental dwelling registry law will help promote better management of rental properties within Little Falls. “This ordinance will make it possible for the city to hold property owners accountable for the conditions of their buildings. Another reason for this legislation is to have someone to contact when there is an emergency or other concern at a rental property.”
    Masi added it is not uncommon for the city’s codes and police departments to spend hours trying to locate the owner of a building. “For some renters, their only contact with their landlord is a post office box. This lack of accountability for property owners makes it difficult for the police department, the codes department or other city services to locate them when there is a concern.”
    The law requires all owners and agents of existing rental dwelling units within Little Falls to register their property within 60 days of receiving written notification from the city, and owners of a new rental unit or any dwelling newly converted to a rental unit to register their property before they allow someone to occupy it. The registry will be maintained by the city codes department.
    The registry will include the name, legal address and telephone number of the owner and any agent in control of the rental unit, and in the event the owner or agent is not a natural person, the owner information will be that of the president, general manager or other chief executive officer of the organization, firm or corporation that owns the property. Owners are also required to list a manager or person in control who resides or maintains an office contiguous with Herkimer County. Where more than one person or entity has an ownership interest in a unit, the information will include a street address, post office box number and phone number where the owners and agents could be reached.
    The required information will also include the number and type of rental units in the dwelling and the address of the rental unit. Every owner of a rental building within the city is also required to provide the person renting a property the name, address and telephone number of the person, firm or corporation responsible for management of the building and the name, address, apartment number and telephone number of the resident manager of the building, if applicable.
    Owners who fail to register, re-register or comply with the law will be subject to a penalty of $100. In the event the penalty is not paid within 30 days, it will be increased to $200. In the event the penalty is not paid within 60 days of notification, the city will impose a lien on the premises.
    Page 2 of 2 - Little Falls Codes Enforcement Officer Phil Green said information on the number of landlords who comply with the local law, as well as the number of landlords who do not comply with the law, would be provided to the Common Council. “It will take two to three months to get the program up and running, but after that time the information would be available to share with the council,” he said.
    Masi said the rental dwelling registry is just one mechanism in a comprehensive strategy to address quality of life issues within the city. “This is not an attack on landlords,” he said.

      calendar