Vacant Property Registration Ordinances
Real Estate Law Journal, Vol. 39, p. 6, 2010
38 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2012 Last revised: 22 Aug 2013
Date Written: 2010
The many cost to local governments associated with high levels of unoccupied buildings is an overlooked consequence of the foreclosure crisis. In response to the risk of these buildings deteriorating, an increasing number of local governments are enacting vacant property registration ordinances. These ordinances seek to discourage vacancy, maintain unoccupied buildings to an acceptable community standard, keep a database of contact information of the parties responsible for unoccupied buildings, or any combination of these goals. This article analyzes the prevalence of the two primary types of ordinances: ordinances based on length of vacancy or on foreclosure status. It also discusses emerging trends and the legal foundation for enforcement of these ordinances. Finally, the article concludes that local governments aiming for successful registration programs should tailor their ordinances to local needs and support vigorous code enforcement. In addition to this conclusion, this article sets out recommendations regarding local government involvement with the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, state-wide registration ordinances, and federal vacant property support.
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Keywords: Property, Urban, Vacant Property, Local Government, Foreclosure
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