Hopkinton, RI, rolls out abandoned, vacant property registration ordinance, database for 2018

Hopkinton, RI: City Council passed a vacant property registration ordinance aimed at protecting residential, commercial, manufacturing, industrial, and mixed use property from blight.

Any property found to have been unoccupied, not actively marketed for sale or rental, or under active construction for a period of 45 days or more, will be classified as abandoned; properties found to be in violation of code for maintenance for a period of 45 days of more may also be termed vacant and then abandoned.

At the end of the 45 days, the property will be added to an abandoned and vacant property database, wherein owners will be notified and have 30 days from time of notification to register, pay fees, and bring the property up to code.

If the City has not been notified by the owner, demonstrating all those items have been complied with, the issues will be brought to Municipal court 30 days after the initial 30 days.

The first annual registration fee is $100 per property, then $200 for year two, with each subsequent year being $300 per property. Failure to register can result in $500/day fines, with additional fines possible of $500 per violation of maintenance and securing codes, per day.

To be removed from the abandoned and vacant property registration database, the owner must demonstrate the property is no longer vacant or abandoned. That can be accomplished via a deed showing transfer of ownership, a copy of a signed lease showing occupancy, or a signed affidavit declaring the owner is occupying the property.

Once the removal from database request has been submitted, the property will be assessed by the City, and removed from the database only if in addition to the transfer of ownership or occupancy certification, the property is in compliance will all codes and ordinances for the City.




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