Toms River, NJ, enacts abandoned, vacant property registration ordinance

Toms River, NJ: The Township has passed an abandoned and vacant property registration ordinance to take effect in May.

The ordinance defines an abandoned or vacant structure as any property not legally occupied or where construction has ceased or is not readily underway, or where legal residential occupation is not allowed due to needed repairs. It goes on to define properties in good working order, maintained and free from code violations, and legally habitable to be exempt from the definition for abandoned and vacant property.

Registration is due with the Division of Code Enforcement within 30 days of the property becoming abandoned or vacant, within 30 days of assuming ownership of an abandoned or vacant property, or within 10 days of receiving official notice from the Township.

Registration costs are $750 for the first registration for a property, $2,000 for the first renewal, $3,000 for the second renewal, and $5,000 per year of renewal thereafter.

Registration must include current contact information for the owner entities, and for an in-state entity responsible for the upkeep of the property. Registration lasts for the calendar year, and is due for renewal by Jan. 31 of each year; amendments to any information are due within 30 days of said change.

Failure of the owner to register the property can result in fines of $2,000 per day. Failure to register or maintain current contact information for an in-state representative can result in fines of $2,500 each day.

The owner or authorized agent must also provide to the Township, at times to be discussed on a case by case situation, access to the property for purpose of inspections, to determine compliance with Code.

Failure to maintain the property to Code can result in fines of $1,500 per day, beginning on the 31st day of the violation if the violation has not been remedied; or within 11 days if the violation is a health and safety hazard.




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