New Jersey borough revises definition of ‘owner’ for vacant property ordinance


Stanhope, NJ: The Borough Council decided real estate licensees are exempt from vacant property registration.


Concerns were raised from realtor groups about costs and other requirements for vacant properties associated with the then language describing an “owner,” that should not fall on the realtors’ shoulders.


Initially, the “owner” title included, “[T]he  title  holder,  any  agent  of  the  title  holder  having  authority  to  act  with respect  to  a  vacant  property,  any  foreclosing  entity  subject  to  the  provisions  of C.46:10B-51 (P.L. 2008, c. 127, § 17), or any other entity determined by the Borough of Stanhope to act with respect to the property,” according to the initial ordinance.


To avoid potential snafu with entities that should not be levied with potential fees and fines for operating only partly on behalf of a vacant property, the language was revised to not apply to “duly licensed real estate agent(s) engaged solely in the sale of the property on behalf of the owner.”


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