Tivoli requires local agent for absentee landlords

Safety and accountability are primary concerns of new law

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A new law now in effect in Tivoli requires that landlords who own residential properties in the village but don’t live nearby must register a property agent to handle local issues.

Landlords who live outside of Dutchess, Columbia, Greene, and Ulster counties or are more than “15 air miles” from the village need an agent over the age of 18 who lives within those parameters. The agent would be responsible for responding quickly in an emergency and would also be required to respond to official notices or appearance tickets for court, should any be issued.

Property owners who fail to register would be levied a $500 fine per rental sleeping unit, according to the law, which was passed in April after two public hearings in February and March.

The law also amends village code to require property owners to undergo fire and building code inspections of their rental properties once a year. And it specifies that the property owner is responsible for keeping records up-to-date, even though the village’s code enforcement officer will maintain the records.

Mayor Bryan Cranna told The Observer there were many reasons the law was needed.

“I proudly proposed this legislation to the board to address absentee landlords and their inabilities to properly manage their properties. Sadly, we have them here in Tivoli, and it’s time that they stepped up,” he said. “In addition, as I see more and more young renters in the village, I wanted to ensure that those young people–many living away from home for the first time–would be safe in the event of an emergency.”

He added, “However, Tivoli is also very fortunate to have several hands-on property owners that take great pride in their properties as well as give back to their community time and time again.”

Property owners who rent for the first time will receive registration information when they apply for their rental permit. For current landlords, registration forms are available at the Tivoli village clerk’s office or on the village’s website, www.tivoliny.org.

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