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Rental registration law in North Hempstead upheld by Appellate Division

The Town of North Hempstead's Rental Registration Law requiring landlords to register with the building department was upheld April 7 by the Appellate Division.

The law had been found to be unconstitutional in 2003 after a lawsuit was filed by landlord Neville Anthony. He argued that some requirements, such as calling for landlords to provide names of tenants on the registration form, were an invasion of privacy.

The North Hempstead Town Board later in 2003 amended the law to require only pertinent compliance information and simplify the reporting process.

Town spokesman Carole Trottere said another landlord, Vernia LaRoche, filed a similar lawsuit in 2010 after she was convicted of town code violations, including failure to register her rental property.

Anthony, LaRoche and their attorneys could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The court wrote in its Tuesday decision that the prosecution of LaRoche for failing to file a rental registration form "was proper." The Appellate Division also found that her other challenges to the law were "without merit."

North Hempstead has 4,000 properties registered under the rental registration law and more that need to come into compliance, said building department Commissioner John Niewender. He said landlords not in compliance will be contacted about their requirement to register.

"The ultimate purpose of the Town's rental registration law is to ensure that landlords comply with safety and building codes and that renters are getting a safe and legal place to live," North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth said in an emailed statement Wednesday. "We are very pleased that the courts have upheld our law as amended."

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