Vacant property registration ordinance approved for Wichita Falls, TX
Wichita Falls, TX: City Council approved a vacant property registration ordinance to help prevent properties from becoming hazardous.
The ordinance would currently affect only the greater downtown area, and be applicable to all commercial structures; including multi-family structures great than 2 units.
A vacant property is one where it is a habitable structure that is not currently occupied and in use, or where there is an inactive utility account, or it is used solely for storage, or it has been actively listed for sale at least 90 days.
Owners have 90 days to register from the point the written notice is provided for a property being established as vacant, and will remain on the registry until it is occupied and all violations are resolved.
Registration requires owner information, proof of liability information, current floorplan of the property, and current contact information for a local representative to be contacted for any issues for the property; that information would be posted to the property.
Properties would be inspected, and then notification provided of needed repairs in order to comply with City code as well as parts of the International Property Maintenance Code. A plan for correcting violations and any rehabilitation efforts, as well as future plans for use and maintenance while vacant, must also be supplied to the City by the owner.
Registration fees will be discussed and established at a later Council meeting during the year, with current fees suggested as $150 annual fee for registration and $100 annual fee for inspection of the property; with a $100 discount suggested if registration is submitted in full within 45 days of notice.
The first round of registrations are expected to be sent out in October 2021, with registration beginning to be due in January 2022.
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