The Department of Buildings
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Vacant Property Guidelines

If a building is vacant for more them 30 days, the owner must:

1. Secure all openings as may be necessary to ensure against any unlawful entry.

2. Register the vacant building as a vacant property with Department of Buildings.

a.) a $250 registration fee is required each time the building is registered
b.) each registration lasts only for a period of 6 months
c.) maintain and provide proof of ‘Liability Insurance” coverage in the following amounts:

i. $300,000 minimum liability policy for residential structures

ii. $1,000,000 minimum liability policy for commercial structures

3. Post a sign with the Name, Address, and Telephone number of the current owner (or the agent for the owner) in a conspicuous location on the building.

4. Keep the premises clean. Cut the grass, remove weeds, garbage, debris, dead trees or any fallen limbs. In winter, shovel any accumulated snow to allow public use of the adjacent sidewalk and keep the property free from pests such as rats and other rodents. Bait the property as necessary.

5. Maintain foundation, basements, crawlspaces, exterior walls, exterior windows and doors, roof, gutters, downspouts, scuppers, flashing, chimneys, flues outside stairs, steps, decks, verandas and balconies. Keep exit areas continuously lit from dusk to dawn.

6. Keep the vacant building’s interior free from junk, debris, trash, rodents and pests. Keep plumbing free from leaks and winterize the structure. Maintain the foundation, floors, walls, stairs, and ceilings. Exit doors should be secured with an internal deadbolt lock. Maintain interior stairs and risers in a safe, usable condition.

7. Buildings Security Standards:


a. Building doors, windows and openings may be secured with plywood for the first six (6) months.
b. After 6 months, all plywood must be removed and replaced with commercial- grade steel security panels or,alternatively, replace the plywood with secure doors, glazed windows and an operable 24-hour burglar alarmsystem.