In a recent Op-Ed in the Baltimore Sun, Peter Duvall, community revitalization coordinator for Strong City Baltimore discussed new legislation being proposed by Councilman Kris Burnett. This legislation would “target the hard-to-track owners of vacant properties and subject them to fines if they don’t post signs on the abandoned houses identifying themselves and providing contact information.”

These signs, would disclose “not just any legal entity that controls them, but also the identity of the person who controls that entity. Owners currently have to provide that information to the city’s housing department, which must treat it as confidential and can only release it to nearby residents, community association leaders and City Council members.”

While “public shaming” may have its benefits, posting a sign on all properties is problematic, as it advertises vacancy.

Additionally here are a couple of quotes from the Op-Ed.

  • “More than a decade ago, the city enacted its current property registration statute. However, the statute appears never to have been fully enforced. Based on my 15 years of experience in this area, when the community complains about a problem rental property or vacant property, the property usually turns out to be unregistered. “
  • “Before passing new laws, the city should begin the process of identifying unregistered properties.”

This is exactly what MuniReg, seeks to address, as written in my March blog posting and subsequent May follow-up.

Just need to embrace out-of-the-box thinking and creative solutions!

To view the Op-Ed, please click here.

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