Well, in Charlotte, NC, anyway. And this ordinance may be coming your way soon, especially for those of us here in Greensboro.
As of January 1, 2013, all rental property owners in Charlotte must register their buildings with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Departments. The police department encouraged this ordinance as a way for them to respond quicker to emergencies and track spots in the city where crime is high.
Section 6-582. – Registration of residential rental property states:
(A) Each owner of residential rental property shall register by providing the following information to the designated police official:
(1) The address(s) for the residential rental property which shall include the street name(s), number(s) and zip code;
(2) The name(s), business and personal address, telephone number and e-mail address of the owner;
a. If the property is owned by multiple natural persons, then the required information shall be that of one person who has legal authority to act on behalf of the other owners.
b. If the property is owned by a corporation, whether foreign or domestic, then the required information shall be that of a registered agent and of an officer who has authority to act on behalf of the corporation.
c. If the property is owned by a partnership, then the required information shall be that of the managing partner and one alternate who have legal authority to act on behalf of the partnership.
d. If the property is owned by an unincorporated association or any other legal entity not mentioned above, then the required information shall be that of a person who has legal authority to act on behalf of that association or entity.
(3) The number of units located on the residential property.
(B)The address(s) required in subsection (a)(2) shall not be a public or private post office box or other similar address.
(C) An owner whose property is found to be INRA shall notify the police official of all purchaser information within 30 days from the date of change of ownership. Purchaser information shall include the name, address, phone number and e-mail address for the purchaser.
(D) An owner that is required to register under this article shall post proof of registration as provided by the city in the business office of the property or in a common area or other conspicuous place accessible at all times to the tenant(s).
(E) Each residential rental property parcel shall be registered separately.
(Ord. No. 4890, § 1, 5-29-2012)
At this time, rental property owners have six months to register. Registration is free for most owners. Landlords with properties that fall in the top four percent of police calls and crime statistics must pay a fee. These fees range from $350 for single-family to $1,300 for large apartment complexes.
Ken Szymanski, executive director of the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association, said he understands the frustration police feel when looking for out of state or untraceable owners. He said this information will also give property owners insight as to whether they need to beef up security, increase lighting, or take other steps to deter crime at or near their properties.
But, is there really a need for this ordinance? All of this information is already available through the tax assessor’s records and the register of deeds. What else will this government program lead to?
Failure to register is a misdemeanor.
Heads-up to those of us who own rental properties in Greensboro. Our Police Chief, Ken Miller, came to us from Charlotte as the former senior deputy chief with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. So, this ordinance may not be long in coming to us.
What are your thoughts on this legislation?