City Council of West Milford, NJ, amends maintenance code with vacant property registration

West Milford, NJ: The Township has amended its vacant property maintenance code, including fee schedules, definition revisions, and code violation penalties, in an effort to reduce eyesore properties and safety hazards.

Any residential property not occupied by the title owner or their family, a tenant, or that is foreclosed upon, may be asked to join the registry if any three of the following types of code violations or situations exist: overgrowth of plants, excess mail, debris, disconnected utilities, hazardous materials, “junked” vehicles, boarded entrances, broken windows or doors, vandalism, loitering, criminal activity, absence of personal items, winterization, past unresolved code violations, notices on structure, reports by neighbors.

Per the code, registration information is to be filed within 10 days of notice received from the Township of vacant status, and within 30 days if there are any changes to any contact information for an already-labeled-vacant property.

The property registration fee is $250.00 for the first year, with each year thereafter increasing by the previous year total plus an additional $250.00.

Owners have 45 days from registration to secure the home to code, post the contact information on the exterior of the home, and ensure their liability insurance for the vacant home is up to date. After such time, the property must remain maintained to code throughout the duration of its vacancy in order to avoid penalties.

For owners not adhering to the Township's rules for code violation management, fines of $500.00 to $1,000.00 per day, per violation, can occur; with each additional day of a given fine constituting an additional and separate instance of the fine, to be added to the total violations for the property. The Township maintains the option for abatement actions for any such violation.




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