Scotia rental registry close to fruition

After months of consideration, a proposal designed to hold rental property owners accountable is expected to be finalized next month.

The registry will be accessible to village employees, such as the clerk or building code inspector, who may need to contact owners. It is a tool that will help the village keep rental property in good shape, something that is valuable to not only the occupants of the property but to neighboring homeowners as well, said town officials.

This is an attempt to insure that we have contact information for rental property owners in the village who do not reside in the rental unit, said Scotia Mayor Kris Kastberg.

Kastberg said the village is looking into requiring a local agent to be listed as a contact if the owner lives out of the area. He said this would provide the village with contact information in the case of emergencies, code violations and law changes.

"Right now we are working on the mechanics of notifying owners and setting up the registry. When the details are ironed out, we'll look at introducing the law," said Kastberg.

Trustee Armon Benny, who proposed the law, said the idea stemmed from a similar one in the City of Schenectady that passed last October. Benny said for the most part property owners who live in or around the village are very cooperative when contacted over a maintenance, garbage or snow removal concern. He said that problems sometimes stem from when property owners make deals with their tenants.

"Sometimes you may have a property owner who says if you shovel the sidewalks I will knock something off the rent. The problem with that is then the landlord assumes it's being down when it may not be," said Benny.

Benny also said that the law would only apply to those property owners who do not reside in the building they are renting out. The proposal also will hold property owners of commercial buildings responsible.

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