Monsey, NY – Rockland County has implemented its fourth and final phase in its effort to crack down on illegal housing: creating a registry of all buildings that contain three or more housing units.
The effort was unveiled this week by County Executive Ed Day who announced that landlords will be required to register their properties in an online database maintained by the county.
In order to complete the registration process, landlords must submit their parcel identification and deed numbers, a current copy of the property’s certificate of occupancy and full contact information for the property owner.
The one-time cost to register is $25 per unit, but Day noted that the new regulations are motivated by safety, not enriching the county coffers.
Day described the registry as “the last piece of the proverbial pie” in his four pronged effort to eradicate illegal and often substandard housing in Rockland.
There is currently no specific deadline for landlords to enroll in the registry.
Day said that his administration will monitor the signups and, in time, approach those who fail to comply and encourage them to register to avoid fines that can range as high as $2,000 per day.
That day will come sooner rather than later, said Day.
“I think most landlords would rather pay a one-time fee of $25 instead of $2,000 per day.
Day emphasized that the registry is in no way intended to be punitive to landlords and that he applauds their efforts to earn money as long as it is done in a legal fashion, which includes compliance with all zoning and safety codes.
The registry will also afford greater protection to firefighters and will give the county government a better picture of the available housing stock in Rockland.
“This will help us plan what services are needed in different municipalities,” said Day. “There are a lot of positives here.”
Day said that so far, no landlords have signed up yet at the registry which can be viewed only by officials at the Department of Health and not by private citizens.
Asked how many county landlords he envisions signing up for the registry Day replied simply, “All of them.”