Rockford, IL, amends foreclosed and vacant property registration ordinance

Rockford, IL: City Council has approved amendments to its foreclosed and vacant property registration ordinance, in order to further crack down on community blight.


Registration is due within 30 days of receiving written notice declaring the property to be vacant (or 33 days from point of notice, if being sent via first class mail); within 30 days of purchasing a vacant property; or within 30 days of an owner having knowledge of fact or circumstances, or reasonably should have known, that the property has become a vacant.


Registrations for properties in foreclosure or entering into foreclosure must have an inspection of the property within 30 days to establish vacancy, and if vacancy is established, the owner has 30 days to register the property; foreclosure properties not found to be vacant must continue with monthly inspections during foreclosure process, to update current vacant or occupied status.


Registration must include a full plan for the building, addressing all code violations, how maintenance to avoid violations will occur, any improvements or demolition, to return it to occupancy, and timelines for all such items, as well as the following:


1. “The name, street address, telephone number, and email of each owner. If the owner is a partnership, corporation, or voluntary unincorporated association, the registration shall include the name, street address, telephone number of each partner, officer, member, or shareholder. If the owner is a corporation, the registration shall include the name, street address, and telephone number of the registered agent therefor.”


2. “The name, street address, and telephone number of a person designated by the owner as the authorized agent for receiving notices of code violations and receiving process in any court proceeding or administrative proceeding on behalf of such owners,” that resides in Winnebago County; an owner may be an agent, if they fit all criteria.


3. Designation of “a property manager who either resides in or maintain an office in Winnebago County to inspect, maintain, and secure the property. The registration shall include name, address, twenty-four (24) hour telephone number, and email address of the property manager”; an owner may be a property manager, if they fit all criteria.


Registration must be renewed by March 1 and Sept. 1 of each year, and any change to any information regarding a registration is due within 30 days of that change occurring. Renewal of registration must occur for the property until written notice to discuss status, from the owner, is received by the City, and then approved; such approval’s completion will require a fee for a property inspection by the City.


Vacant lots without any buildings on them, which are maintained to City Code, are not required to be registered. Failure to register, renew, or adhere to other areas of maintenance or code for the property can result in fines of $50 per day, per violation, with each day of a given violation constituting a new violation fine.




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