New Castle County, Delaware, enacts vacant property registration based on escalating fee


New Castle County, DE: Annual registration for vacant properties has been unanimously voted for by the New Castle County Council to help keep vacant and abandoned properties from becoming blights on communities.


Any owner of a vacant property has 10 days after that property having been vacant for 90 days to contact the New Castle County Code Enforcement Department and register the property.


The registration fee, paid annually, is structured to increase based on time the property remains vacant:

  • Less than 1 year: no registration fee
  • 1 year, but less than 2: $100
  • 2 years, but less than 3:  $500
  • 3 years, but less than 5: $1,000
  • 5 years, but less than 10: $3,500
  • 10 years:  $5,000
  • More than 10 years: $5,000, plus an additional $500 for each year beyond 10

Additionally, property owners must notify the county code enforcement department within 30 days regarding any change that could affect the registration information already filed. The vacancy status for a property resets when a change of ownership occurs.


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