Newton joins growing list of municipalities in New Jersey with required vacant property registration

Newtown, NJ: The municipality has joined a growing number of New Jersey locations where vacant property registration has become law.

The City Council’s resolution calls for any building used or to be used as a residence or commercial property, that has stood empty for at least three months or work on it has ceased for three months, and which exhibits traits of vacancy to a reasonable degree, to be deemed vacant and required to file registration.

Traits for “vacancy” status include, but are not limited to: accumulated mail/papers, overgrowth of plants, boarded entryways, 1-year-old or older code violations still standing, reports from residents, and absence of furnishings.

Current owners or taking new control of a property that has become vacant will have 30 days to file registration of $500 for initial registration; $1,500 for the first renewal; $3,000 for the second – fifth renewal; and $5,000 per renewal year thereafter; with renewal fees and filings being due by Jan. 31 of each year.

Any property not in compliance with the new ordinance or in violation of other sections of the code can face fines of $500 - $1,000 per offense, per day; with a lien to possibly be placed against the property should fines and code violation not be resolved.

The new code requirements took effect at the time of publication of the law May 22, 2017. Some properties can apply for exemption from parts of the registration requirements, but must still fill out documents for such with the city or potentially face the same fines for non-compliance with the code.




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