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Years ago, property registration ordinances were not as popular as they are today in the U.S. There were maybe a handful of vacant property registration ordinances enacted in municipalities across the entire country. But after the housing crisis hit in 2008, the need for tracking defaulted and vacant properties became critical to reducing blight and changed the property registration law forever. This all-consuming mortgage crisis affected small-, medium-, and large-sized cities across the country.
The local government reacted immediately by enacting legislative relief to deal with the crisis and mitigate the dramatic spike of neighborhood blight associated with vacant and foreclosed properties. Consequently, in 2012, more than 550 vacant property registration ordinances were passed into law to prevent a repeat of the disaster. Today, there are thousands of unique property and vacant property registration ordinances in cities across the country.
Jurisdictions throughout the country have been proposing, enacting, repealing and enforcing ordinances that require the registration of vacant residential properties, as well as those in foreclosure. To effectively address blight, many jurisdictions are including both residentially and commercially zoned properties within their ordinances.
Property registration was an important tool the local government developed to tackle the rise in vacancies, and avoidable blight and vandalism costs. Also, the laws often require that property stakeholders pay a fee when registering their properties to ensure they are maintained to certain standards. In return, the local government uses the fee to pay for staff who perform regular property inspections to identify and mitigate code violations.
It is important to stay informed of these ordinances, as new ones are enacted weekly. Regular research and registration renewal is key for mortgage servicers and property stakeholders to remain in compliance with local laws.
When Can You Register?
Although there are several differences in property registration ordinances nationwide, ultimately, many cities require that mortgage servicers or stakeholders register the property once it is vacant for a certain period of time, while other cities require that a property is registered only after a foreclosure. Some even require both approaches. The foreclosure targets mortgage lenders in charge of property maintenance during the foreclosure process. This process inspires them to employ companies to secure and maintain the property or be penalized for noncompliance.
Why Should You Register a Property?
The property registration laws help the local communities to focus on eliminating vacant buildings altogether. This requires owners to submit plans either to renovate or demolish buildings on their property. Additionally, some cities require very little or no fee for registration and enforce severe penalties for not complying with maintenance rules. Ultimately, these laws are intended to keep blight out of neighborhoods. The rules can be comprehensive to include guidelines for securing a building, pools, in addition to the building exterior and paint colors.
Importance of Property Registration
To overcome the vacant properties issues, counties and states are encouraged to enact the property registration ordinance law for the following reasons:
- Help city officials who face increasing foreclosures know who the stakeholder is at each property and ensure it is maintained properly. These ordinances can impose stringent maintenance requirements on mortgage servicing companies both before and once the property is in foreclosure.
- Property registration is best suited to prevent long-term vacancies to impose escalating fines on an annual basis.
- Property registration also ensures that vacant property owners are on-record for city officials and other interested parties and can be reached if issues arise.
- To ensure that vacant property owners are familiar with the ownership duties under relevant regulations and codes.
- To also ensure that owners comply with property maintenance standards as determined in each municipality.
SGPNow.com will research ordinances in your area and register your property for you! We leverage the best practices and technologies of Safeguard Properties, our parent company, to deliver world-class property inspection, maintenance, and registration services. Visit our website to order your property registration services today!