City rental registry goes live

Mckenzie Delisle, The Press-Republican, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
·3 min read

Apr. 11—PLATTSBURGH — The Lake City's new rental registry launched at the start of April, but applications are, so far, scarce.

It's estimated more than 4,000 rental properties sit within Plattsburgh City's bounds, but Mayor Christopher Rosenquest says only 12 applications were submitted as of April 1.

"We're in the process of reviewing them and others as they come in," he told the Press-Republican Friday, adding that "a number more" were being submitted.

"Because of the lower than expected numbers, we're sending out a letter specifying some of this information and will also push to social/digital channels."

THE REGISTRY

The registry, applicable to high-occupancy rental units, was built into a rental law added to the city's building code in 2019 and later amended in 2020.

It meant to form a list of all such properties in the City of Plattsburgh to ensure they were rightfully inspected and kept in good condition.

A fee schedule was approved by city councilors earlier this year, as follows:

—Three year rental permit (initial inspection and two follow-ups included: $100 per unit up front or $40 per unit each year

—Reinspection after two failed follow-ups: $50 per visit

—Missed inspection date/time without 24 hour notice: $50 per property

LANDLORDS COME AROUND

The city's former Landlord-Tenant Advisory Committee — comprised of city officials, landlords and tenants — had recommended the fee schedule.

The body met for several months before submitting it in February and, having fulfilled its purpose, then disbanded.

Plattsburgh landlords had initially expressed upset with the rental registry, speaking out at a public hearing in late 2019. At the time, they had bemoaned its opportunity for undetermined fees, room to revoke permits and possible tenant impacts.

The Landlord-Tenant Advisory Committee was later formed to give the property owners a seat at the table.

At the committee's final meeting, the fee schedule was finalized and, before voting on the item, committee member and local property owner Kye Ford had said, "I spoke with some other landlords. I think the approach seems logical. . . I don't think you have too much argument on our end."

NO DEADLINE SET

Rosenquest said the city hadn't received much feedback from property owners since the registry went live.

"Most of that came during the roll out of the law itself and, as such, we don't have any specific concerns at this point either about getting it implemented," he said.

Asked if property owners need sign their rental units up before a certain date, the mayor said the city had discussed that matter internally.

"Although all should be registered by April 1, we know this is a new process," he said Friday. "We're considering a three to four month timeline to get to everyone and to make sure everyone understands what's expected."

ACCESS APPLICATION

More information on the registry and access to its permit application form is available on the City of Plattsburgh website, www.cityofplattsburgh-ny.gov/node/2232

Email McKenzie Delisle:

mdelisle@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @McKenzieDelisle