Nebraska adopts bill establishing vacant property registration guidelines for its communities

Nebraska: Vacant property registration program guidelines have been formally approved by the State, allowing cities and villages to adopt vacant property ordinances.

Legislative Bill 256, the Vacant Property Registration Act, was signed into law by the Governor at the end of March 2018. It stipulates “a municipality may adopt a vacant property registration ordinance which applies to either residential or commercial buildings or both, except that a vacant property registration ordinance shall not apply to property owned by the federal government, the State of Nebraska, or any political subdivision thereof. A vacant property registration ordinance shall create a city-wide vacant property registration data base and clearly designate a program administrator.”

Registration providing current details for the property and those entities responsible for it will be required if vacancy has existed for 180 days or greater, with re-registration requirements and fees set by the ordinance at intervals no less than 180 days and no greater than 360 days.

No ordinance may have an initial fee of greater than $250 for the first registration for a vacant residential property, and no greater than $1,000 for a vacant commercial property; with following period fees costing no more than double the previous fee amount, to a maximum of 10 times the initial fee.

Ordinances created may allow for exemptions and appeals for vacant properties, as well as establish interior and exterior inspection requirements, and fines for non-compliance with the ordinance parameters.

For purposes of the Act, a vacant property would be defined as “any condition or circumstance that on its own or in combination with other conditions or circumstances would lead a reasonable person to believe that a residential building or commercial building is vacant.”



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