Monday, January 27, 2014

Rental Permit Bylaw: Halfway Home


Building Commissioner Rob Morra reported to the Amherst Select Board this evening that the town's new Rental Registration process is going well, with 741 applications received out of a total of 1,570 (47%) properties that need to register.

The new law went into effect January 1st and requires all landlords to pay $100 annual fee for a permit.  The process includes submitting a parking plan and completing a self certification checklist acknowledging basic zoning and health & safety concerns. But the process can all be easily accomplished on the town website. 

Also neighbors or concerned citizens can file complaints about rental properties with the town or find the name and contact information for a rental property owner to take it up with them first.  

A map with color coded pins (red for "open" and green for "closed") shows all the complaints received dating back to April, even before the law went into effect.



Unfortunately the Code Violations and Complaints Map does not currently show properties cited by the Amherst Police Department for noise or nuisance complaints, a glaring oversight.

Commissioner Morra did say he would be working with Police Chief Livingstone in the near future to make that valuable data available on the website.


15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Other than the fact that they haven't tried to enforce it yet, I still don't see the legal authority of the town to do this.

OK, owner-occupied are exempt -- what about houses that people have put into trusts? Those technically aren't owner-occupied and hence they ought to have to register too, right?

And if you have a mortgage, the bank owns your house (and pays the taxes on it -- you merely pay the taxes to the bank for them to do so. You don't technically "own" the home.

So the bylaw is creating two groups of tenants -- and only making one register. that's a 14th Amendment issue, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

First time it goes to court, we'll find out how much of a waste of money the town's legal council is.

Anonymous said...

I think a similar law in Boston was approved by the court.

Anonymous said...

"Halfway Home"--great headline :)

Anonymous said...

Many towns and cities in every state have such laws and they are very much legal and hard to challenge. Any laws that pertain to health and safety requirements for the public are pretty much impossible to fight. This goes back to public health and sanitary issues way back when and like vaccinations and anything else related to public health plus eminent domain when it pertains to improving public transportation and infrastructure, there isn't much you can do. The fairness of grandfathering and enforcement are another thing.

Anonymous said...

How about a map that shows all the register GUN owners in town? Makes just as much sense.

Larry Kelley said...

Guns are legal.

Noise, nuisance, zoning, and health/safety violations are not.

If you don't want your property showing up here, do a better job of maintenance.

Anonymous said...

Larry your house is an eyesore, better tear it down. Larry your house doesn't look safe, better tear it down. Larry your coming and going at all hours of the day is a nuisance, better take it by eminent domain. Larry your house impedes the public works dept, better tear it down.
See, it's easy to point the finger at someone else all the time. That's why opinions are like assholes, everybody's got one.
just sayin...

Larry Kelley said...

Yes, but you are a Cowardly Anon Nitwit (quite possibly a slumlord), so nobody cares what you think.

Anonymous said...

I do! I care what he thinks!

Larry Kelley said...

Yes, but you are a Cowardly Anon Nitwit (quite possibly a slumlord), so nobody cares what you think.

Anonymous said...

As Kelley uses his usual defense tactic.
If you can't debate the topic, call someone names.
God you still debate like a spoiled little child. You were like this forty years ago.
Grow up...

Larry Kelley said...

More like fifty years ago.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather be cowardly than rude.

Larry Kelley said...

As my friend Rod would say, "And you wear it well."