Q: Why did I get a notice to register my property?
A: All non-owner occupied, vacant, and foreclosed properties must register annually with the Health Department. You will be receiving a registration form in the mail if your property meets the requirement.
Q: Why is there a requirement to register non-owner occupied, foreclosed, and vacant properties?
A: It is the intent of City Code Section 3½, to protect and preserve public health and safety, security and quiet enjoyment of occupants, abutters and neighborhoods by:
1) requiring all residential property owners, including lenders, trustees, and service companies to properly maintain their
2) regulating the maintenance of residential properties to prevent blighted and unsecured residences.
Q: I received the registration form in the mail and not sure if have to register?
A: You will need to register you property with the Health Department if your property is/has:
- non-owner occupied,
- vacant for 180 days or more,
- in process of foreclosure, or
- been foreclosed upon.
Our records indicate that you meet the requirements of the Ordinance. If you feel as though you are not applicable, please contact the Health Department at (413) 499-9411.
Q: I am an owner occupied property owner and my friend is a single family homeowner. Do we need to register?
A: If you are an owner occupied property and a single family homeowner, you will not need to register. However, if your status changes and becomes either vacant for one hundred and eighty (180) days or more, or the properties are in process of foreclosure, then the mortgagee would need to register within thirty (30) days after the status has changed.
Q: I just received a notice of foreclosure in the mail; do I or the bank need to register?
A: Mortgagees are required to register the property within thirty (30) days of initiation of foreclosure.
If you, or your family, is in need of assistance, please contact the Health Department at (413) 499-9411, or the Department of Community Development (413) 499-9368 to see what types of programs are available to assist you before it is too late. Many utility companies also provide resources and assistance. Don’t wait until the utilities are shutoff.
Q: I own multiple properties. What are the costs to register them?
A: If you own one property, the annual cost is $10.00. If you own more than one, then it is $10.00 plus one dollar ($1.00) for each additional property to be registered.
- One property = $10.00
- Two properties = $11.00
- Three properties = $12.00
Q: I am a seasonal homeowner and live in Florida most of the year. I only come to Pittsfield in the summer. Do I have to register?
A: The definition of a vacant property means any property not currently legally occupied for one hundred and eighty (180) days or more and which the owner does not intend to re-occupy. If you plan to reoccupy, you do not need to register. If you rent the property and have no intentions of re-occupying yourself, you will have to register.
Q: What happens if I don’t register my property?
A: Our goal is to achieve compliance and to ensure properties are registered. If you are unsure of the requirement, please feel free to contact us. All properties need to be registered by the end of each year. Fines of $100.00 per week may be assessed for failing to register and may be attached to property taxes.
Q: I am having trouble filling out the registration form and need help. Who can I call?
A: We apologize for any confusion and our goal is to work with owners to ensure compliance is met. We encourage you to contact us and we will assist you to the best of our abilities.
Q: I am a real estate agent and selling a property that is vacant, do I have to register?
A: Unless you are the legal owner of the property, agents do not have to register the property. However, the owner must register the property if it has been vacant for one hundred eighty (180) days or more.
Q: I am very upset that I received the registration form and I feel as though that I do not apply to this requirement?
A: You have received this registration form because our records indicate that you are a non-owner occupied, foreclosed, or a vacant property owner. If you do not meet this requirement, please contact the Health Department at (413) 499-9411 and we will work diligently to update and correct our records.
Q: Where can I get a copy of the Ordinance?
A: You may request an official copy at the City Clerk’s office in City Hall or obtain it on the internet by visiting our City Code section of this website. The Ordinance can be found under City Code Section 3½-3: Registration of Non-owner occupied, Vacant, and Foreclosure Residential Properties.
Q: What are the posting requirements?
A: The property shall be posted with a notice which is constructed of durable material and which is no smaller than 20 square inches in size listing the owner’s name, address and telephone number if he/she does not live in the dwelling or have a manager living in the dwelling. If the owner is a realty trust or partnership, the name, address and telephone number of the managing trustee or partner must be posted. If the owner is a corporation, the name, address and telephone number of the president of the corporation shall be posted. The posting shall include the name and twenty-four (24) hour telephone number of the representative responsible for the maintenance of the property. This sign shall be posted in accordance with state law. Adherence to this section does not relieve the owner of any applicable obligations set forth in federal, state or local code regulations.
Q: When is my registration due?
A: Initial registrations are due within 60 days of purchasing the property. Renewals are due within sixty (60) days prior to beginning of the following year.