OSWEGO, NY – Out-of-town landlords will need a local agent or manager for their property before they can rent them, according to changes to the city code approved Monday night by the Common Council.
Landlords who live more than 25 miles away from City Hall are now required to have either a manager or an agent that lives within 25 miles of City Hall, according to Mayor Randy Bateman.
At the public hearing on the amendment prior to the council meeting, two people, local landlord Lee Walker and GOP mayoral candidate Dave White spoke in support of the change.
The changes will apply to those landlords who live more than 25 miles away from City Hall and will begin at the end of this month. Those with existing rental permits are grandfathered in – until they have to renew their permits.
The property manager shall be designated to act as the owner … to receive and respond to notices from the city of Oswego and to receive service of process on any action or proceedings brought by the city of Oswego against the owner.
“I think this is a step in the right direction,” Walker told the council. “There are a lot of people that own property in the city of Oswego, that don’t live in our community.
According to the change, the property manager must live or do business within 25 miles of City Hall and must provide the city with a local address and telephone number.
The manager could be a tenant. However, Walker noted he’d feel more comfortable if it were someone who has experience in the real estate field.
“My biggest concern is to make sure that it is legal,” he added.
“I support this change, too,” White said. “I think it is a good idea.”
At the committee level, the city attorney pointed out that the city is having problems contacting property owners when it is a violation or other issues. In some cases, she explained, the city has to send documents to process servers out of state and try to track down property owners in some other state to get them properly served in order to bring them into court.
There is a need to have a contact locally, Councilor Connie Cosemento said. If there is a local agent designated; then the city can serve the local agent, she said, adding it would save the city tremendous amount of money trying to track down and serve out-of-town landlords.