Kentucky town tests waters for vacant property registration ordinance to handle abandoned structures


Ludlow, KY: A failure by some landlords to pay rental-license fees has moved the City Council to establish a vacant property registration (VPR) ordinance focusing on residential properties.


Currently, establishing the vacancy of a property can necessitate an inspector being invited into the property, which is not always possible when tenants abandon property without notice, leaving landlords unaware of potential violations to city code regarding property condition. However, damage or wear and tear due to negligence to the exterior of a structure could be grounds for an inspection of property to help determine vacancy.

Some landlords have argued the current laws primarily protect tenants that deal damage to the properties, unfairly painting landlords in a poor light, as well as pushing extra fee and fine penalties at the property owners; with the VPR likely to further penalize landlords for actions taken by unruly tenants.


The proposed VPR ordinance would require residential property owners to list current contact information in a city database when a property becomes vacant, or face a fee of up to $500. A hotline for residents to contact the city with complaints or suspected vacant properties was also considered, with further discussion of ordinance specifications to occur; the city of Newport being used as a basis for program dimensions.


Ascent combines focused research and centralized operations oversight to create innovative outsourced solutions for code enforcement violations, vacant property registration ordinances, property preservation, and other vendor management needs from across the United States.