City wants to crack down on absentee landlords

Aug 9, 2017

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Proposed legislation by the City of Rochester would make landlords more accessible to the public.

The issue of absentee landlords is a growing problem says Director of Building & Zoning Gary Kirkmore, with more and more city property owners living out of the region or out of the state.

First, the proposal asks that landlords who live outside of the 13- or 14- zip codes designate a point of contact within Monroe County to represent them.

The bill also asks that landlords provide a public business address, name and phone number. Currently, that information is not accessible to the public.

City Councilmember Jackie Ortiz helped draw up the legislation, she said the changes are simple yet powerful, and would help build stronger neighborhoods in Rochester.

"The ability to reach out to one another. Develop the relationships that would otherwise not have ben possible. And address concerns collaboratively."

Mayor Lovely Warren announced the proposal Wednesday as part of a multi-pronged strategy to strengthen the city's nuisance abatement point system. The legislation is among a number of recommendations outlined in a 2016 report by Strategic Communities Intervention (SCI), studying the system.

"We must give city residents and business owner’s confidence that the investments that they make in this city remain sound and will be protected."

City council will vote on the legislation August 15th.

Currently available however is a new nuisance activity map on the city’s website. This gives residents access to what nuisance offenses have occurred at a property on a citywide basis, and whether action has been taken in fixing those concerns.