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Fulton ‘Wages War’ on Negligent Landlords

Tall grass and weeds are a recurring issue that city officials will crack down on in a "war" against neglegent landlords.

FULTON, NY – The Fulton Common Council held a workshop last week to prepare for an impending war against negligent landlords throughout the city.

Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr. and administrative assistant to the Mayor, Kathy Trowbridge led the meeting with five of the city’s common councilors in what Trowbridge referred to as a “pep rally” to ensure all councilors were aware of city-wide expectations and how to enforce them.

Tall grass and weeds are a recurring issue that city officials will crack down on in a “war” against neglegent landlords.

Emphasizing that the crack down will target negligent landlords, Trowbridge said the goal is to aggressively pursue landlords that are considered “repeat offenders” that do not adhere to the city’s code and charter.

“Our homeowners deserve this. Our city deserves to be better than this. We do respect the many good landlords but we know the bad ones and we’re coming after you,” Trowbridge warned.

The Common Council announced an August 1, 2018 deadline before cracking down on what has been referred to as a “war” against negligent landlords.

“We will give you a chance to critically look at your properties and to be good neighbors. Evaluate your properties because you have one month, and then we’re coming after you,” Trowbridge said.

A small group of city residents approached the Common Council at the last regular meeting with concerns of unaddressed code violations they have noticed that affect the look and feel of their neighborhood.

In allowing these properties to continue ignoring city code regulations, homeowners in the area become discouraged in maintaining and beautifying their own properties, they said.

“People are saying the city is not doing its job, the city not look good. We’re sick of hearing that,” Trowbridge said. “We’re giving our aldermen all the tools we can. If they can’t do it all, they can come ask for help and we’re going to do it because we’re done. We’re sick of it.”

The Common Council is committed to waging this war in an effort to provide better living environments for the homeowners of the city that invest in their property and community.

The meeting’s notice stated, “Homeowners are not likely to invest if they are surrounded by bad looking properties that attract renters that cause neighborhood disturbances.”

Mayor Woodward referenced one such known property that has warranted police response on 24 occasions since January 2018.

“We want to let these people know we expect more for our homeowners. We expect our homeowners to have a better quality of life consistently. We want the (landlords) to invest in our properties, not just make a profit,” Trowbridge said.

The council discussed a list of expectations to ensure all non-owner occupied residential houses are maintaining.

They include: routinely mowing tall grass and weeds, trimming around fences, steps, porches, sheds, and public right of way areas, maintaining sidewalks in good and safe order, safe steps with handrails, roofs in good condition, scraping and repainting chipped paint in matching color, replacing broken shingles and siding with like material and matching color, investor providing (or requiring tenant to provide) appropriate number of garbage and recyclable receptacles for tenant use, ensuring no loose garbage bags to be stored on property, garbage and recyclable cans are stored on side or rear of property with the exception of winter months, ensuring all accessory structures are maintained and structurally sound, visible and appropriate housing numbers are displayed where they can be easily seen from the roadway, ensuring driveways meet all commissioner specs with accepted materials and provide enough parking, foundation is maintained with no cracks to prevent entry of pests and insects, ensuring windows are framed with screens that fit windows and cannot be nailed or stapled to the house.

Though the list of code regulations encompasses more than those included, these are often unadhered to guidelines that the city will be cracking down on among several others.

Additionally, the city will target commercial businesses that don’t properly care for their property, especially those located on main incoming routes to the city.

Such expectations for commercial properties include: “Mowing, plowing, sidewalk maintenance, showing pride in business and community.

The efforts to crack down on landlords throughout the city is ongoing following changes to city code earlier this year.

In April, the Common Council adopted amendments to city code that require landlords living outside of city limits to direct a property manager residing with 25 miles. Each month a property manager goes undesignated, landlords will accrue a $200 fee.

Similarly, landlords will not be permitted new or renewed rental permits if they are in violation of any city code or owe unpaid property taxes, water and sewer bills, or fees of any nature owed to the City of Fulton. Any landlord that does not obtain a rental permit will accrue a $200 fine each month until such permit is obtained.

Code violations that go unresolved result in court appearances.

Fulton Police Department and Fulton Fire Department are on board with city officials and will work together in any way necessary.

“Fulton aims to take back it’s city,” council president representing the Third Ward, Donald Patrick Jr. said, and they intend to do just that.

The City of Fulton’s Code and Charter can be accessed online through the city’s website where you can also find information to contact the Mayor’s Office or any of the city’s common councilors with questions or concerns.

17 Comments

  1. How about the boarded up city owned properties? …
    I lived on Utica Street for 6 1/2 years …
    across the street was an abandoned house…
    during the summer the lawn was rarely mowed …
    during the winter the homeless slept there …
    Yes, landlords stink at keeping their properties up
    but the city should keep their properties up too …

  2. This should be interesting, as there have been times in the past that I have called code about some safety of houses that I go into. Nothing ever gets done, I also question how this will be enforced at one of the cities biggest issues. Also agree with Linda, have a friend with a city own property next door. It is a safety issue, not boarded up and hang out for teens.

  3. Linda, i had the exact same thought. There is city owned propertiy right behind where I live that is falling apart. The city needs to be held to the same standard. Also, I understand the majority of problem properties are rentals, however, there are owner occupied properties that are not maintained and they must be treated equally and cited for their code violations as well.

  4. How about the City owned former Nestles site. Sure could use the city to find a,way to finish leveling that major eyesore!

  5. This has been a problem for our city for many years. We have had alot of people who were born and raised here that have passed away or moved. This has open the door for out of our city landlords who don’t care about codes. It’s time to clean up and be proud of what we have and as for the city with all homes that people have walked away from has been a battle due to low staffing on our department of public works. I ask for the help of everyone to come together with ur alderman to clean up the city !!!

  6. What about the deplorable condition of Cheateau West apts. Roaches and what ever else. Someone i knew had to resort to living there, I sent a letter to mayor Woodward, nothing was done. They don’t care.

  7. Chateau West Apartments are located in the Town of Granby, not the City of Fulton.

  8. How about paving your roads? They are deplorable especially on the west side where the new pavement of rt 48. You reach Fulton and the road is one step above a dirt road. If I lived in Fulton I would be pounding the mayor’s door down until it was paved…..

  9. Yes Cheateau is in Granby but wondering about all of the houses that same landlord owns in the City? I can guarantee you that the majority are not up to code at all.

  10. There are plenty of homeowners that live in houses in the city of Fulton, that have plenty of chipped paint. Also broken siding, windows, cracked sidewalks and dirt driveways. Some home owners that live in these places are living in DUMPS!!! It’s not just the landlords the City representatives should be looking at.

  11. No matter how late this is, it’s a start. A chance that we all can help turn a city from an eye sore to something at least “better” than it was yesterday. Lot of defeatists in Fulton and I was/am one of them but will support anyone who tries to better my home town.

  12. I agree 100% that there are a lot of properties in Fulton that are in deplorable conditions. We as business owners and landlords would love to see it cleaned up, but…. History shows that our city “officials” will target those of us that try hard to keep our properties decent, they will nit-pic, browbeat, & fine those that are simply making an honest dollar by providing decent housing. Sometimes it seems they step on small businesses at every turn. Absent landlords won’t care, and think about this, if they lose the dumps, who gets them… The city of Fulton, and then what? More city owned properties…. hmmmm
    As a side note, our $60 trash cans would not be duct taped if the city trash workers did not dump & sling ….

  13. Start with the common Council, get rid of that mayor , clean that eye shore up , doze it into the earth , people purposely go out of there way to avoid that place ,it needs a new mayor , trump would turn that to a beautiful place, it’s disgusting,……..

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