Residential vacant property registration ordinance in effect in Sparta, NJ
Sparta, NJ: A vacant property registration ordinance for residential properties is in full effect in the Township.
The ordinance states any residential property is deemed “vacant” if notice of violation has been filed; or where a mortgaged property is not occupied by a mortgagor or tenant; or where the condition on its own or combined with other conditions present would lead a reasonable person to believe that the property is or has been vacant for 3 or more months.
Evidence of vacancy includes, but is not limited to: plant overgrowth, debris buildup, utilities off, absence of home furnishings, health/safety risks, prolonged property damage, winterization, boarding, statements from people involved in the area of the home, or statements of abandonment.
Owners have 30 days from time of vacancy status, or assuming ownership of a vacant property, to file registration; any change to any information must be filed within 30 days of the change. If the Township files a notice of vacancy, an owner has 10 days, whether the owner receives such notice or not.
Registration must include current contact information for owners and for an in-state person responsible for the property, as well as payment of a registration fee. Reregistration is due annually by Jan 1, and any property must be registered each year vacancy continues.
Initial registration fee is $500, then $1,500 for the 1st renewal registration, then $3,000 for the 2nd renewal, and the 3rd and all subsequent renewals at $5,000 per year; while registered, a property must be maintained to Township Code.
Failure to register in a timely manner can result in a $2,000 fine. Failure of an owner to appoint an in-state representative can results in fines of $2,500 daily until resolved. Failure to maintain the property to code can result in fines of $1,500 per day until the given violation is resolved.
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