Thursday, October 5, 2017

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Newburgh to establish full compliance with rental registry

NEWBURGH – City fire officials in Newburgh want owners of rental properties to register them so they can monitor compliance with health and safety requirements for all residents.

In a letter to property owners, Acting Fire Chief Terry Ahlers and Assistant Chief and Building Inspector William Horton are asking people who live in owner-occupied properties to fill out a new form. Resident homeowners who have a rental unit are exempt from any fees but are required to register, they said.

“The past approach to code enforcement has been both inefficient and ineffective, and we simply cannot tolerate this risk to our community,” the officials wrote. “We are initiating the groundwork for a systemic change in the quality of housing in Newburgh with the over-arching goal of building a safer, stronger community as a whole.”

They said the city’s inspections and code enforcement work to date have identified many sub-standard rental units including several single-family dwellings that were subdivided into multiple units creating “a severe safety hazard for the occupants.”

This past summer, they said, the Fire Prevention and Code Enforcement Team discovered a single-family approved property with more than 13 subdivided units. “The team also discovered health, safety and fire hazards at the property which has also resulted in a criminal investigation,” they wrote.

The city also found that many illegal single room occupancies are maintained on record as single-family homes to take advantage of the single-family homeowner tax rate.

They said a recent arson investigation in Newburgh resulted in the discovery of an unpermitted residential rental unit in the building.

 


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