Landlords worried over city's rental registry

NORWICH – A public hearing was held at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Common Council to discuss the proposed New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code that must be adopted this year. Although this was the topic of the public hearing, those in attendance seemed much more concerned about the proposed rental registry.

There was confusion about the details of the fire code, with many in attendance unclear if the new codes applied to only new construction or if it would affect other areas as well. Police Chief Joseph Angelino tried to explain the terms of the new codes.

“The city has to adopt the state guidelines,” Angelino said. He explained that the new codes would be in effect for every project that requires a permit.

There was little other discussion on the uniform code. During open forum, several city residents instead stood up to voice their opinions on the city’s proposed rental registration. The registry has been laid out as a possible addition to the city code as Chapter 51. It would call for non-owner occupied or vacant rental dwelling units to participate in the registration. Landlords would have to provide a name, address, and a telephone number where they can be reached at all times. In addition, rental property owners could be asked to provide a local contact, to act on their behalf, in the event they cannot be reached.

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