JAMESTOWN – City officials will be ramping up the effort to get city landlords to fall into compliance with the Jamestown Residential Rental Property Registry program.
On Monday night Mayor Sam Teresi and Development Director Vince DeJoy went over the details of the city’s current Residential Rental Property Registry program with members of the Jamestown City Council while also explaining the renewed effort fully utilize the program by making it easier for landlords to sign on to the registry and for the city to enforce it.
Teresi said that while the registry is already part of the city code and has been in place for nearly nine years now, it hasn’t been fully enforced by the city due to a lack of manpower and resources. However, he said that this year he wants to see that changed, as he initially stated in his 2019 State of the City report.
“One of the objectives that was laid out in the State of the City address was to basically beef up the administration and the execution of the existing laws that was put on the books, which dates back to 2010,” Teresi explained.
According to city development director Vince DeJoy, the registry is part of the code enforcement process and as a result, the city housing department will be using its MyGov code enforcement tracking software and website to help compile a full list of rental properties in the city.
“What had been done in the pass was [filling out] a form, a simple form. A landlord would fill it out and bring it to clerk’s office. It basically sat in the clerk’s office. It was in any type of database that was useful for use to enforce,” DeJoy said. “So what we had to do was simplify the way the landlord can submit this information. There is a number of methods and the easiest method is using the MyGov platform.”
In addition to having landlords submit basic information online, they will also still have the option to submit a physical form to the clerk’s office, either by printing up a copy of the form from the city’s website and mailing it it, submitting via email, or dropping it off at City Hall.
Dejoy and the mayor also pointed out that all property owners will eventually be asked to fill out the form if they own rental property. This request will also be made annually when property owners receive their tax bill. And because the registry is already part of the city code, Teresi said consequences are already in place for those who fail to register, and they will begin to be more thoroughly enforced.
“Failure to comply with the registration process could hold a fine of not less than $125 and not more than $1000 as enforced by the Jamestown City Court,” Teresi said. “I think everybody is aware that there has been sporadic enforcement and compliance to this since it was passed,, and this new effort is intended to address that.”
The effort to ramp up the rental registry is due to concerns from the community about poor and/or derelict rental properties throughout the city. Officials believe that by finally fully utilizing the registry program they can start to better identify and address the properties that are in violation of city code.