According today’s App.com Union Beach Borough Council recently put a law on the books that requires owners of vacant homes (mostly bank owned and negligent landlords) to register those properties by escalating annual fees that begin at $500 and top out, after three consecutive years, at $5,000.
The new ordinance puts strict requirements on owners to maintain the appearance of the property — mowing lawns and picking up trash — and also perform repair or remediation on the interior of the home as well.
Violators are subject to fines up to $1,000 per instance and those penalties can be assessed as liens on the property.
Jennifer Wenson Maier (UB Borough Administrator ) is well aware that many Union Beach families were forced out of their homes after Superstorm Sandy and still are trying to figure out the finances to return. Even though it doesn’t specify what kind of owner these rules can be enforced upon, the borough will not apply it to those people, she said.
Union Beach is not looking to go after homeowners who are looking to go back into their homes, they are specifically targeting bank-owned properties and to negligent landlords.
Some of the dangers reported are: raccoons, skunks, rodents, rats, kids going into them, lower property values for neighboring homes, and because of the high grass, people using them as a dumping ground, and mold in the homes in many cases.