New Haven, CT: Vacant Property Registration Ordinance
by Adam Bendett
On January 22, 2009, the city of New Haven, Connecticut adopted the first Vacant Property Registration (VPR) ordinance in the state of Connecticut. It contains a grace period until April 22, 2009, for the issuance of fines for a violation.
The ordinance requires any foreclosing entity to register with the city and pay a $100 registration fee within seven days of the date of initiation of a foreclosure action. Among other things, the registration must contain a certification that the property was inspected as well as identify whether the property is abandoned. If it is abandoned, the registration must designate an individual or a property management company within fifty miles of the property to be responsible for the security and maintenance of the property and provide the contact information of that individual or company. If the responsible security/maintenance party changes, written notification must be given within seven days, and the new contact information must be provided. The same is required if ownership in the property changes, or if the foreclosing entity sells its debt prior to completion of the foreclosure. It should be noted that the foreclosing entity would generally only become aware of a change in ownership if it occurred as a result of the foreclosure proceeding.
If the property becomes vacant, the foreclosing entity must post a sign issued by the New Haven Police Department, which allows the police to take notice and arrest any trespassers.
Similar registration and change notices, as well as a $100 fee, are required when the foreclosing entity takes title to the property through foreclosure. This registration and fee are valid only for one year. If the foreclosing entity sells the property, proof must be provided. In addition, should vacant property become occupied, notice of that fact must be supplied. There is a fine of $250 per day for a failure to timely register or for a failure to post the required sign referenced above.
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