City of Vineland, NJ
Cumberland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Vineland 12-12-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-106. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Development Corporation — See Ch. 29.
Land use — See Ch. 425.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 537.
[1]
Editor's Note: The title of this chapter was changed from "Property, Abandoned and Nuisance" to "Property, Vacant, Abandoned and Nuisance" 8-26-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-40.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABANDONED PROPERTY
Any property, except as provided in N.J.S.A. 55:19-83, that has not been legally occupied for a period of six months and which meets any one of the following additional criteria, as determined by the Public Officer:
A. 
The property is in need of rehabilitation in the reasonable judgment of the Public Officer and no certificate of transfer of title has been issued or extended.
[Amended 1-16-2018 by Ord. No. 2017-97]
B. 
Construction was initiated on the property and was discontinued prior to completion, leaving the building unsuitable for occupancy, and no construction has taken place for at least six months as of the date of a determination by the Public Officer pursuant to this section; and
C. 
At least one installment of property tax remains unpaid and delinquent on that property in accordance with Chapter 4 of Title 54 of the Revised Statutes as of the date of a determination by the Public Officer pursuant to this section; or
D. 
The property has been determined to be a nuisance by the Public Officer in accordance with N.J.S.A. 55:19-82.
ABATEMENT OF NUISANCE PROPERTY
The repair or elimination of the conditions on a property that create the nuisance, including the demolition of any or all structures thereon.
BUILDING
Any building structure or part thereof, whether used for human habitation or otherwise, and includes any outhouses and apartments belonging thereto or usually enjoyed herewith.
DAYS
Consecutive calendar days.
[Added 8-26-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-40]
FORECLOSING
The process by which property, placed as security for real estate or other loans, is prepared for sale to satisfy the debt if the borrower is in default under the terms of the loan.
[Added 8-26-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-40]
INITIATION OF THE FORECLOSURE PROCESS
Any of the following actions taken by a lienholder or mortgage holder or mortgagee.
[Added 8-26-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-40]
A. 
Taking possession of the property.
B. 
Delivering a creditor's or mortgagee's notice of intention to foreclose to the borrower.
C. 
Commencing a foreclosure action or filing a lis pendens in the Superior Court of New Jersey.
LIENHOLDER or MORTGAGE HOLDER or MORTGAGEE
The creditor, including, but not limited to, service companies, lenders in a mortgage agreement and any agent, servant or employee of the mortgagee, or any successor in interest and/or assignee of the mortgagee's rights, interests or obligations under a mortgage agreement, collectively herein referred to as "creditor."
[Amended 8-26-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-40]
MUNICIPALITY
The City of Vineland and shall include a qualified rehabilitation entity that may be designated by the City pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-90 to act as its agent to exercise any of the City's rights pursuant thereto.
NUISANCE PROPERTY
Any property, except as provided in N.J.S.A. 55:19-83, which meets any one of the following criteria:
A. 
The property has been found to be unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.3.
B. 
The condition and vacancy of the property materially increases the risk of fire to the property and/or adjacent properties.
C. 
The property is subject to unauthorized entry, leading to potential health and safety hazards; the owner has failed to take reasonable and necessary measures to secure the property; or the City of Vineland had secured the property in order to prevent such hazards after the owner has failed to do so.
D. 
The presence of vermin or the accumulation of debris, uncut vegetation or physical deterioration of the structure or grounds have created potential health and safety hazards, and the owner has failed to take reasonable and necessary measures to remove the hazards.
E. 
The dilapidated appearance or other condition of the property materially affects the welfare, including the economic welfare, of the residents of the area in close proximity to the property, and the owners have failed to take reasonable and necessary measures to remedy the conditions.
OWNER
Every person, entity, service company, property manager or real estate agency, who, alone or severally with others:
[Amended 8-26-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-40]
A. 
Has legal or equitable title to any dwelling, dwelling unit, mobile dwelling unit or parcel of land, vacant or otherwise; or
B. 
Has care, charge or control of any dwelling, dwelling unit or parcel of land, vacant or otherwise, in any capacity, including but not limited to agency, executor, executrix, administrator, administratrix, trustee or guardian, of the estate of the holder of legal title; or
C. 
Is a mortgagee in possession of any such property;
D. 
Is an agent, trustee or other person appointed by the courts and vested with possession or control of any such property; or
E. 
Is an officer or trustee of the association of unit owners of the condominium. Each such person is bound to comply as if he were the owner; or
F. 
Every person who operates a rooming house; or
G. 
Is a trustee who holds, owns or controls mortgage loans for mortgage-backed securities transactions and has initiated the foreclosure process.
PARTIES IN INTEREST
All individuals, associations and corporations who have interests of record in a property and any who are in actual possession thereof.
PROPERTY
Any real estate, residential property, or portion thereof, located in the City of Vineland, including buildings or structures situated on the property. For the purpose of this section only, "property" does not include property owned or subject to the control of the City or any of its governmental bodies or agencies, including but not limited to property owned or controlled by the Housing Authority of the City of Vineland, Vineland Development Corporation or Vineland Downtown Improvement District.
[Amended 8-26-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-40]
PUBLIC OFFICER
The person designated by the Mayor of the City of Vineland pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.5.
QUALIFIED REHABILITATION ENTITY
An entity organized or authorized to do business under the New Jersey Statutes, which shall have as one of its purposes the construction or rehabilitation of residential or nonresidential buildings; the provision of affordable housing; the restoration of abandoned property; the revitalization and improvement of urban neighborhoods, or similar purpose, and which shall be well qualified by virtue of its staff, professional consultants, financial resources, and prior activities set forth in N.J.S.A. 55:19-78 to carry out the rehabilitation of vacant buildings in urban areas.
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
Any property that contains one or more dwelling units used, intended or designed to be occupied for living purposes.
[Added 8-26-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-40]
SECURING
Taking measures that assist in making the property inaccessible to unauthorized persons.
[Added 8-26-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-40]
VACANT PROPERTY
Any building used or to be used as a residence which is not legally occupied or at which substantially all lawful construction operations or residential occupancy has ceased, and which is in such condition that it cannot legally be re-occupied without repair or rehabilitation; provided, however, that any property that contains all building systems in working order and is being actively marketed by its owner for sale or rental should not be deemed vacant. Property determined to be "abandoned property" in accordance with the meaning of such term in the Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act, N.J.S.A. 55:19-78 et seq., shall also be deemed to be vacant property for the purpose of this chapter. Any property that has a valid, current continued certificate of occupancy or an unexpired certificate of transfer of title shall not be considered a vacant property.
[Added 8-26-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-40; amended 1-16-2018 by Ord. No. 2017-97]
A. 
The Public Officer shall establish and maintain a list of abandoned properties to be known as the "abandoned properties list." The Public Officer may add properties to the list at any time when he finds that a property meets the definition of an abandoned property and the Public Officer may delete properties from the list at any time when he finds that a property no longer meets the definition of an abandoned property. The abandoned property list shall apply to the City of Vineland as a whole.
B. 
The published list of notices shall identify the abandoned property, setting forth the name of the owner or owners of record, if known, tax lot and block numbers and the street address for the lot.
C. 
An interested party may request that a property be included on the abandoned properties list, provided he follows procedures set forth in N.J.S.A. 55:19-105.
D. 
A property shall not be included on the abandoned properties list if rehabilitation is being performed in a timely manner, as evidenced by building permits issued and diligent pursuit of rehabilitation work authorized by those permits. A property on which an entity other than the City of Vineland has purchased or taken assignment from the City of a tax sale certificate which has been placed on the abandoned properties list may be removed in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 55:19-103.
A. 
The Public Officer, within 10 days of the establishment of the abandoned properties list, or any additions thereto, shall send a notice, by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by regular mail, to the owner of record of every property included on the list and shall cause the list to be published in the official newspaper of the City of Vineland, which publication shall constitute public notice. The mailed notice shall indicate the factual basis for the Public Officer's finding that the property is abandoned property, as that term is defined herein and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, specifying the information relied upon in making such finding.
B. 
The published and mailed notices shall identify the property determined to be abandoned by the Public Officer, setting forth the owner of record, if known, the tax lot and block number and street address.
C. 
When the owner of record is not known for a particular property and cannot be ascertained by the exercise of reasonable diligence by the Tax Collector, notice shall not be mailed but instead shall be made by posting a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place on the building affected by the notice pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.7.
D. 
The Public Officer, in consultation with the Tax Collector, shall also send out a notice by regular mail to any mortgagee, servicing organization or property tax processing organization that receives a duplicate copy of the tax bill pursuant to subsection "d" of N.J.S.A. 54:4-64.
E. 
In all cases, a copy of the mailed or posted notice shall also be filed by the Public Officer in the office of the Cumberland County Clerk. This filing shall have the same force and effect as a lis pendens under N.J.S.A. 2A:15-6. The notice shall be indexed by the name of the property owner as the defendant and the name of the City of Vineland as plaintiff as though an action had been commenced by the City of Vineland against the owner.
F. 
The abandoned property list shall become effective, and the City of Vineland shall have the right to pursue any legal remedy with respect to properties on the abandoned property list at such time as any one property has been placed on the list in accordance with the provisions herein, upon the expiration of the period for appeal with respect to the property or upon the denial of any appeal brought by the property owner.
A. 
An owner or lienholder may challenge the inclusion of the property on the abandoned properties list determined by the Public Officer, provided said appeal is received by the City of Vineland within 30 days of the owner's receipt of the certified notice or within 40 days from the date upon which the notice was sent. An owner whose identity was not known to the Public Officer shall have 40 days from the date upon which notice was published or posted, whichever is later, to challenge the inclusion of a property on the abandoned properties list. Upon good cause shown, the Public Officer shall accept a late filing of an appeal.
B. 
Within 30 days of the request for an appeal of the findings contained in the notice, the Public Officer shall schedule a hearing for redetermination of the matter.
C. 
Any property included on the list shall be presumed to be abandoned property unless the owner, through the submission of an affidavit or certification by the property owner indicating that the property is not abandoned and setting forth therein the reasons for such averment, can demonstrate that the property was erroneously included on the list. The affidavit or certification shall be accompanied by supporting documentation, such as but not limited to photographs, repair invoices, bills and construction contracts. The sole issue to be determined by the Public Officer is whether the property is deemed to be abandoned as that term is defined herein.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
D. 
The Public Officer shall decide any timely filed appeal within 10 days of the hearing on the appeal and shall promptly, by certified mail, return receipt requested and regular mail, notify the property owner of the decision and the reasons therefor.
E. 
The property owner may challenge an adverse determination of an appeal with the Pubic Officer pursuant to Subsection D of this section, by instituting, in accordance with the New Jersey Court Rules, a summary proceeding in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Cumberland County. Such action shall be instituted within 20 days of the date the notice of decision was mailed by the Public Officer pursuant to Subsection D of this section. The sole issue to be presented to the Superior Court of New Jersey is whether the property in question is an abandoned property as that term is defined herein.
The City of Vineland may exercise its rights under the Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act directly or the City of Vineland may designate a qualified rehabilitation entity to act as its designee for the purpose of exercising its rights under state law where the designation will further the rehabilitation and reuse of the property consistent with municipal plans and objectives. This designation shall be made by resolution of the City Council of the City of Vineland.
The Public Officer shall provide a written report to the City Council of the City of Vineland every six months which outlines the status of abandoned properties within the City of Vineland, said report shall include but is not limited to the following information:
A. 
Copy of the current abandoned properties list;
B. 
Status report on the property removed from the list since the date of the last report and the reasons for the removal;
C. 
Status report on any legal proceedings pending in connection with any properties appearing on the abandoned properties list;
D. 
Status report of any actions taken by any designated qualified rehabilitation entity in connection with any properties appearing on the list; and
E. 
Status report of any tax sale certificates purchased by or assigned to any entity for vacant property.
A. 
City Council of the City of Vineland may adopt an ordinance authorizing the transfer of possession and control of abandoned property in need of rehabilitation to the City of Vineland. Said action shall be in accordance with N.J.S.A. 55:19-78 et seq.
B. 
Should the owner of the property fail to successfully defend against a complaint filed pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-84, any party in interest may seek to be designated in possession of the property pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-98 and 55:19-99.
A. 
With regards to any lien placed against any real property pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.3 or 40:48-2.5 the City of Vineland shall have recourse with respect to the lien against any asset of the owner of the property, if an individual; against any asset of any partner, if a partnership; and against any asset of any owner of a ten-percent or greater interest, if a corporation.
B. 
The City of Vineland may hold a special tax sale with respect to those properties eligible for tax sale pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:5-19 which are also on an abandoned properties list established by the City Vineland pursuant to this ordinance. Special tax sale shall be held in accordance with N.J.S.A. 55:19-101.
C. 
Any person holding a tax sale certificate on a property that meets the definition of abandoned property as set forth herein either at the time of the tax sale or thereafter may enter upon the property at any time after written notice to the owner by certified mail, return receipt requested, in order to make repairs or abate, remove or correct any condition which exists as the reason or reasons it is on the abandoned property list. Any sums incurred or advanced for such purpose may be added to the unpaid balance due the holder of the tax sale certificate at the statutory interest rate for subsequent liens.
D. 
When the City of Vineland is the purchaser of a tax sale certificate of any property on the abandoned properties list, it may foreclose the right of redemption in accordance with N.J.S.A. 54:5-86.
The Public Officer shall determine if a property is a nuisance property as defined herein. He shall further evaluate the input the nuisance property has on the welfare of the surrounding community including economic welfare, the extent to which the condition of the property may increase crime, drug or gang activity or the extent to which its condition may decrease property values. Should the City of Vineland abate the nuisance property, such action shall not be considered in determining whether the property is a nuisance property.
A. 
Complaint and notice of hearing.
(1) 
Where the Public Officer or his designee determines that a property meets the criteria of a nuisance property as is herein defined, he shall file a report with the Solicitor of the City of Vineland which identifies the property, its condition and its impact on the neighboring community. Upon receipt of the report, the City Solicitor shall prepare a complaint setting forth the location and condition of the property and the remedy sought. He shall also prepare a notice of hearing setting forth the date, time and place of the hearing.
(2) 
The complaint and notice of hearing shall be served upon the property owner and all parties in interest in accordance with the notification procedures set forth in N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.3. Service shall be made personally or by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, by mailing the complaint and notice of hearing to the last known address of such persons. when the owner of record or party in interest cannot be ascertained by the exercise of reasonable diligence, then service of the notice of complaint shall be made in the following manner:
(a) 
By publishing the complaint and notice of hearing once in the official newspaper of the City of Vineland;
(b) 
By posting the complaint and notice of hearing in a conspicuous place on the property which is the subject of the complaint; and
(c) 
By recording the complaint and notice of hearing in the Clerk's Office of Cumberland County.
(3) 
The hearing shall be scheduled before the City Council of the City of Vineland at a place and time designated in the notice of hearing, which time shall be fixed not less than seven days or more than 30 days from the date of service of the notice of hearing and complaint.
B. 
Hearing and determination.
(1) 
The Public Officer shall provide testimony and other evidence in connection with the complaint. The property owners and any party in interest shall have the right to appear and question any witness, testify on their own behalf and produce witnesses. Said parties may be represented by an attorney, at their discretion.
(2) 
After the hearing, the City Council shall determine if the property is a nuisance property as defined herein and in so doing shall adopt a resolution stating its findings.
(3) 
If the property is determined to be a nuisance property, the resolution shall state the remedy required, including.
(a) 
The immediate abatement or removal of the condition causing the property to be a nuisance property.
(b) 
The abatement or removal of the condition causing the property to be a nuisance property within a reasonable time, as set forth in the resolution, provided evidence has been presented that substantial work is required to abate or remove the condition and that reasonable steps have been taken towards this goal.
(c) 
The demolition of any building or structure creating the condition causing the property to be a nuisance property, provided evidence has been presented that it is not economically feasible to abate or remove the condition.
(4) 
A copy of the resolution shall be served upon the property owner and all parties in interest, in a manner as is set forth for the service of the notice of hearing and complaint herein above.
C. 
Failure to comply with resolution. In the event that the property owner and/or all parties in interest fail to comply with the resolution of the City Council, the Public Officer may proceed without further notice to enforce the provisions of the resolution by such measures as are necessary to carry out the purpose and intent of the resolution, including but not limited to the abatement and removal of the condition which caused the property to be a nuisance property. The cost of abating or removing the condition shall constitute a municipal lien against the property.
D. 
Cost as municipal liens.
(1) 
Any and all costs incurred by the City in the course of any proceeding wherein it was determined that the property constitutes a nuisance property, as well as any costs associated with abating said condition, shall constitute a municipal lien against the property. Said costs shall include but not be limited to legal fees, expert witness fees, search fees and advertising expenses.
(2) 
The Public Officer shall prepare a detailed statement of said costs and shall file it with the City Clerk. Thereafter, the City Council of the City of Vineland shall consider a resolution certifying the amount due to be a municipal lien. The resolution shall be filed with the Tax Assessor and Collector, and a copy shall be forthwith mailed to the property owner by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested. The property owner or any party in interest may, within 30 days of the filing date of the municipal lien certificate, institute a summary proceeding in the Superior Court, Law Division, Cumberland County, contesting the accuracy or reasonableness of the cost set forth in the municipal lien certificate.
E. 
Transfer of property prohibited. Except as provided herein, upon the service of a complaint and notice of hearing on the property owners in accordance herewith, the property owner shall be prohibited from transferring any interest in the property until the final disposition of the legal proceedings and compliance with any resolution issued by the City Council. The filing of a copy of the complaint and notice of hearing or resolution with the Cumberland County Clerk shall have the same force and effect as a notice of lis pendens.
F. 
Other laws not affected. Nothing in this ordinance shall be interpreted to impair or limit in any way the powers afforded the City of Vineland by the Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act nor is anything in this ordinance intended to limit the authority of the enforcing agency or Construction Official under the State Uniform Construction Code Act or any rules or regulations adopted thereunder.
[Added 8-26-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-40]
A. 
Effective September 1, 2014, the owner of any vacant property as defined herein shall, within 30 days after the building becomes vacant property or within 30 days after assuming ownership of the vacant property, whichever is later, file a registration statement for each such vacant property with the Public Officer, on forms provided by the City of Vineland for such purposes. The registration shall remain valid for one year from the date of registration. The owner shall be required to renew the registration annually as long as the building remains vacant property and shall pay a registration or renewal fee in the amount prescribed herein for each vacant property registered.
[Amended 1-16-2018 by Ord. No. 2017-97]
B. 
Effective September 1, 2014, a lienholder, mortgage holder or mortgagee (collectively "creditor"), serving a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage on residential property, shall, within 10 days of serving the summons and complaint, notify the Municipal Clerk that a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage has been filed against this property. The notice shall contain the name and contact information for the representative of the creditor who is responsible for receiving complaints of property maintenance and code violations and shall be provided by mail, or electronic communication, at the discretion of the Municipal Clerk. In the event the creditor that has served a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a residential property is located out of state, the notice shall also contain the full name and contact information of an in-state representative or agent, who shall be responsible for the care, maintenance, security, and upkeep of the exterior of the property if it becomes vacant and or abandoned. In the event that the property being foreclosed upon is an affordable unit pursuant to the Fair Housing Act, then the creditor shall identify that the property is subject to the Fair Housing Act. The notice shall also include the street address, lot and block number of the property and the full name and contact information of an individual or entity located within the State of New Jersey who was authorized to accept service on behalf of the creditor. The notice shall be provided to the Municipal Clerk within 10 days of service of a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage against the subject property. The Municipal Clerk shall provide a copy of the notice to the public officer the creditor shall further, and within 10 days of serving a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage on residential property, file a registration for each such property with the Public Officer on forms provided by the Public Officer for such purposes. Any creditor that has initiated a foreclosure proceeding on any residential property which is pending in Superior Court shall, within 30 days of the initiation of a foreclosure proceeding shall provide to the Municipal Clerk a listing of all residential properties in the City of Vineland for which the creditor has foreclosure action pending by street address and lot and block number. The Municipal Clerk shall forward a copy of the notice to the Public Officer. The registration shall remain valid for one year from the date of registration. The creditor shall be required to renew the registration annually as long as a foreclosure action is pending.
[Amended 8-9-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-22]
C. 
Any owner or creditor of any building that meets the definition of "vacant property" prior to September 1, 2014, shall file a registration statement for that property on or before September 30, 2014. The registration statement shall include the information required herein, as well as any additional information that the Public Officer may reasonably require.
D. 
The owner or creditor shall notify the Public Officer within 30 days of any change in the registration information by filing an amended registration statement on a form provided by the Public Officer for such purposes.
E. 
The registration statement shall be deemed prima facie proof of the statements therein contained, and any administrative enforcement proceeding or court proceeding instituted by the City against the owner or creditor of the building.
F. 
Any property previously deemed to be vacant, abandoned and/or nuisance or in the foreclosure process shall no longer be required to register the same upon presentation by the owner and/or lienholder or their representatives of proof sufficient to determine that the property no longer meets the definition which required the registration.
[Added 1-16-2018 by Ord. No. 2017-97]
[Added 8-26-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-40]
After filing a registration statement or a renewal of a registration statement, the owner or creditor of any vacant property shall provide access to the City to conduct an exterior and interior inspection of the building to determine compliance with municipal code, following reasonable notice, during the period covered by the initial registration or any subsequent renewal.
A. 
The registration statement shall include the name, street address and telephone number of a natural person 21 years of age or older, designated by the owner or creditor as the authorized agent for receiving notices of code violations and for receiving process, in any court proceeding or administrative enforcement proceeding on behalf of such parties in connection with the enforcement of any applicable code. The person must maintain an office in the State of New Jersey or reside within the State of New Jersey. The statement shall also include the name of the person responsible for maintaining and securing the property.
B. 
By designating an authorized agent under the provisions of this section, the owner or creditor consents to allow any and all notices of code violations concerning the registered vacant property or property upon which the foreclosure process has been initiated and all process in any court proceeding or administrative enforcement proceeding brought to enforce code provisions concerning the registered building by service of the notice or process on the authorized agent. Any owner or creditor who has designated an authorized agent under the provisions of this section shall be deemed to consent to the continuation of the agent's designation for the purposes of this section until the Public Officer is notified of a change of authorized agent. The designation of an authorized agent in no way releases any party from any requirements under this chapter.
[Amended 8-9-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-22]
C. 
The owner of any non-owner-occupied residential property who takes title to the property as the result of a sheriff's sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure, other than an owner who has previously provided notice to the municipality pursuant to this chapter, shall provide notice, within 10 business days, to the Municipal Clerk and to the Public Official of the municipality where in the property is located, and to any association or common interest community, of which the residential property is a part, governed by the Horizontal Property Act, N.J.S.A. 46:8A-1 et seq., the Condominium Act, N.J.S.A. 46:8B-1 et seq., or the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act N.J.S.A. 45:22A-21 et seq., providing the name and address of the owner. If the owner is not located within the State of New Jersey, then owner shall designate an agent within the State of New Jersey, including the agent's address, who was authorized to accept service of process on behalf of the property owner.
[Added 8-9-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-22]
[Added 8-26-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-40; amended 8-9-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-22; 1-16-2018 by Ord. No. 2017-97]
A. 
All properties deemed to be vacant, abandoned and/or nuisance as defined herein and are required to be registered as such shall pay a registration fee. The initial registration fee for each building shall be $500. The fee for the first renewal year shall be $1,500. The fee for the second renewal year shall be $3,000. The fee for the third and subsequent renewal year shall be $5,000.
B. 
All properties required to be registered as being in the foreclosure process but are not required to be registered as vacant, abandoned and/or nuisance properties as defined herein shall pay a registration fee of $200 per year and a like sum each year thereafter until the property no longer has to be registered as a property in foreclosure.
[Added 8-26-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-40]
A. 
The owner or creditor of any building that has become vacant property and any person maintaining, operating, or collecting rent for any such building that has become vacant shall, within 30 days:
(1) 
Enclose and secure the building against unauthorized entry as provided in the applicable provisions of the Code of the City of Vineland, or as set forth in rules and regulations adopted by the appropriate authority, including a redevelopment entity, to supplement this Code;
(2) 
Post a sign affixed to the building indicating the name, address and telephone number of the owner or creditor, the authorized agent for the purposes of service of process and the person responsible for day-to-day supervision and management of the building. The sign shall be of a size and placed in a location so as to be legible from the nearest public street or sidewalk, whichever is nearer, but shall be no smaller than 18 inches by 24 inches; and
(3) 
Secure the building from unauthorized entry and maintain the sign until the building is again legally occupied or demolished, or until repair or rehabilitation of the building is complete.
B. 
In the event the owner of a residential property vacates or abandons any property on which a foreclosure proceeding has been initiated or if a residential property becomes vacant at any point subsequent to the creditors filing the summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage against the subject property, but prior to vesting of title in the creditor or any other third party, and the property is found to be a nuisance or in violation of any applicable state or local code, the Public Officer, Municipal Clerk or other authorized municipal official shall notify the creditor, which shall have the responsibility to abate the nuisance or correct the violation in the same manner and to the same extent as the title owner of the property, to such standard or specification as may be required by state law or municipal code. The Public Officer or other authorized municipal official shall include a description of the conditions that gave rise to the violation with the notice of violation and shall provide a period of not less than 30 days from the creditor's receipt of the notice for the creditor to remedy the violation. If the creditor fails to remedy the violation within that time, the municipality may impose penalties allowed for the violation of municipal ordinance pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:49-5.
C. 
In the event the City of Vineland expends public funds in order to abate a nuisance or correct a violation on a residential property in situations in which the creditor was given notice pursuant to the provisions of Subsection B hereinabove, but failed to abate the nuisance or correct the violation as directed, the City of Vineland shall have the same recourse against the creditor as it would have against the title owner of the property, including but not limited to the recourse provided under N.J.S.A. 55:19-100.
[Amended 8-9-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-22]
A. 
Any owner or creditor who is not in full compliance with this chapter, or otherwise violates any provisions of this chapter, shall be subject to a fine of $1,500 for each day the violation continues. Fines assessed under this chapter shall be recoverable from the owner or creditor, as the case may be, and shall be a lien on the property.
B. 
An out-of-state creditor subject to this chapter who has been found by the Municipal Court, or any other court of competent jurisdiction, to be in violation of the requirement to appoint an in-state representative or agent pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to a fine of $2,500 for each day of the violation. Any fines imposed on a creditor for the failure to appoint an in-state representative or agent shall commence on the day after the ten-day period set forth herein for providing notice to the municipal clerk capitalized that the summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage has been served.
C. 
A creditor subject to the terms of this chapter found by the Municipal Court, or any other court of competent jurisdiction, to be in violation of the requirement to correct the care, maintenance, security, or upkeep violation cited in a notice issued shall be subject to a fine of $1,500 for each day of the violation. A fine imposed pursuant to this subsection shall commence 31 days following receipt of the notice, except if the violation presents an imminent risk to public health and safety, in which case any fines shall commence 11 days following receipt of the notice. A fine issued under the terms of this chapter shall be in addition to any other fines or penalties for violations of other sections of the municipal code.
D. 
For purposes of this section, failure to file a registration statement in time, failure to provide current and correct information on the registration statement, and failure to comply with the provisions of any portion of this chapter shall be deemed to be violations of this chapter.
E. 
Nothing in this chapter is intended, nor shall it be read, to conflict or prevent the City of Vineland from taking action against buildings found to be unfit for human habitation or unsafe structures as provided in the applicable provisions of the municipal code.