[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Amsterdam 9-16-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008; amended in its entirety 2-17-2015 by L.L. No. 4-2015. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to protect the health, safety and welfare of residents, to protect a diverse housing stock from deterioration, and to facilitate service of process and administration of housing inspections and code enforcement. The Common Council finds and declares that the registration of nonresident residential and commercial property owners is intended to and will ensure the protection of persons and property in all existing residential rental and commercial property and ensure that property owners and prospective property owners are informed of, and adhere to, code provisions governing the use and maintenance of rental and commercial properties.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- COMMERCIAL PROPERTY
- Any real property located in the City of Amsterdam that is improved by a structure that is not designed to be used for residential purposes. This definition is limited in applicability to this chapter.
- DESIGNATION CERTIFICATE
- A form designating a registered agent for an owner.
- Any person or entity who, alone or with others, has legal or equitable title to real property.
- REGISTERED AGENT
- Any person designated by the owner as described in this chapter.
- RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
- Any parcel of real property located in the City of Amsterdam that is improved by a structure or group of structures that are designed to be used for residential purposes.
An owner of any residential or commercial property or multifamily/residential property who is not a resident of Montgomery County or an adjoining county, or is not a natural person (i.e., an LLC, corporation, etc.) is required to designate a registered agent. In the instance where an owner who is not a natural person has a place of business in Montgomery or an adjoining county then the $30 filing fee established by § 156-6 shall be waived.
Any owner of real property in the City of Amsterdam required to designate a registered agent shall file with the City Clerk a designation certificate on a form prescribed by the City Clerk. The designation certificate shall name a natural person, over the age of 18 years, residing in Montgomery County or an adjoining county as an agent to receive service of all notices of code violations, legal notices and process arising from the Uniform Code and the codes and laws of the City of Amsterdam related to real property in the City of Amsterdam. The registered agent shall acknowledge the designation certificate before a notary, consenting to such designation and swearing to the registered agent's residence and contact information. The owner shall acknowledge or have an officer acknowledge the designation certificate appointing the registered agent and consenting to the service of any notice or legal process on the agent before a notary. The designation certificate shall remain in effect until replaced by the owner or canceled pursuant to § 156-5 or until three years elapse from the date of filing. Owners and registered agents shall list their physical addresses in addition to any post office box on the designation certificate.
The registered agent shall notify the City Clerk of the City of Amsterdam within 15 days of any change of address or telephone number. The registered agent shall accept service of all notices and legal process on behalf of the owner arising from the uniform fire and building codes and codes and laws of the City of Amsterdam related to real property in the City of Amsterdam. The registered agent shall contact the owner within one day of receipt of any notice or legal process on the owner's behalf. The registered agent may only terminate its agency status by the owner filing a replacement designation certificate or upon 30 days' written notice of termination of agency status, personally served on the owner, with proof of service filed with the City Clerk of the City of Amsterdam. Failure of the registered agent to comply with these duties is punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 or 15 days in jail.
Any owner required to designate a registered agent by § 156-3 shall designate such agent by the later of 120 days from taking title to a property requiring such designation or by January 1, 2009. The owner shall pay a fee of $30 upon filing a designation certificate or a replacement certificate. Each certificate may apply to up to four unique properties for one fee of $30. Failure to file the designation certificate within the time above or failure to file a replacement designation certificate within 30 days of the notice of cancellation by the registered agent, lapse of the designation certificate or notice by the City of Amsterdam that a replacement agent is required shall cause a code enforcement fee to be charged to the owner in the amount of $2 per month for each $1,000 of full assessed value of the property requiring designation of a registered agent, not to exceed $250 per month nor be less than $20 per month per property. Failure to pay these fees within 30 days of the invoice date shall cause the charge to become a lien against the associated real property and be levied with the City taxes against the real property.