Vacant property, violations, un-tracked rentals, these are words that can strike uneasy feelings in the hearts of agency officials implementing a property registration process. With the rise of short and long term rental properties cities are facing an ever larger task of tracking, locating, and bringing owners and landlords into compliance with registering properties. Since the housing crisis of 2008 more individuals are renting now since 1965 according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau housing data. With the growing popularity of Airbnb, apartment renting versus the purchasing of homes, and the growing vacancy of properties in cities, property registration is becoming more and more vital for agencies across the United States. In an effort to help agencies face the sometimes daunting task of establishing a property registration effort, here at MyGov we have developed a resource to help you begin the process of property registration.
Setting the Stage
If property registration is a new venture for your agency or you are re-engineering the processes surrounding the registration of properties then you know that one of the problems your agency faces is bringing people into compliance. With the need to gain high levels of compliance from rental owners many agencies struggle with automating a process and housing all the needed information for property registration online. Registration programs are a large undertaking given the volume of applications, inspections, fees and renewals.
Goals & Benefits
HEALTH & SAFETY
When an agency is enforcing property registration policies, there are several goals the agency is working to accomplish. One of the main goals of an agency is to ensure the health and safety of occupants in the property. When an agency is implementing the property registration process, they are looking at three different measures to determine the safety and condition of short and long term properties.
- Occupancy Class: An agency will check the Occupancy Type of a location. This will determine if the property is capable of the described use and if the use complies with established Zoning ordinances.
- Occupancy Capacity: The agency determine the maximum occupancy of the property, obtain the total number of current occupants and may collect the contact information for the occupants.
- Occupancy Condition: The agency will inspect the registered property to determine if the structure is in habitable condition.
Many agencies struggle to keep a registry of all known rental properties. A formal process for registration not only confirms existing information but exposes new properties not previously known.
Agencies also want to control and limit the number of rental properties by having them adhere to the established zoning ordinance. The agency’s long range planning documents will serve as a guide to establishing type, location and quantity of rental properties.
When enforcing property registration the city is able to collect fees related to applications, inspections, renewals and penalties.
A benefit for both the agency and renter when completing the property registration process is the availability of open and easy communication related to city news, emergency events and compliance requirements.
Types of Registrations
When beginning to establish a property registration process it is key to know the standard definition of the types of rentals and circumstances you will encounter in the registration process. Below are the four key definitions to know related to types of property registration categories.
- Landlord Registration: is the process of ensuring up to date information is available on the managers of rental properties.
- Short Term Rental: are typically property rented for less than 31 nights. The most common examples of short term rentals are Airbnb and VRBO.
- Long Term Rental: rental properties that typically are rented for a stay length of 31 nights in many cities. Long term rentals can include apartments, condos, and extended stay hotels.
- Vacant Property Registration: is the process of identifying and maintaining the safety of properties that are either unoccupied, foreclosed, or in default.
Now that you know the basic landscape and definitions of property registration it’s time to develop your cities processes. To help you succeed in your efforts to implement a comprehensive property registration process in your agency we have developed a resource to lead your through the basic concepts of the property registration process.
Take the next step and download “Basic Concepts of Property Registration”.