Town of Huntington officials will consider tightening and clarifying administrative processes for the fire marshal and public safety departments.
This comes as the town works to revise its year-old law that requires an annual inspection and registration of residential rental properties that are not owner-occupied.
“The fire marshal will be concerned about fire safety and code enforcement at commercial properties and commercial dwellings, and the code inspectors will be focused on code issues in residential units,” said Councilwoman Tracey Edwards, sponsor of the rental registration law. “We want to make this more effective and efficient.”
The updates will be discussed at two public hearings next month.
Some of the changes town officials are considering to the rental registration law include making the rental permit valid for two years instead of one, eliminating potential jail time if a homeowner is found to be in violation and establishing a denial and revocation process for the permit. No rental registration would be required for a two-family home where one of the units is owner-occupied, and professionals who are licensed with the state will be eligible to do the inspections required to get a permit, exempting real estate agents from liability and making homeowners responsible for leasing unregistered homes. In addition, independent consultants hired by the property owner will be liable if they make wrong or false statements about the condition of the house.
Votes on the changes are expected to be held by the time the board meets in June.
“Last year I made a commitment to evaluate law and make changes based on learning,” Edwards said. “Any change would be to make the law more equitable and efficient.”
The two public hearings will be held during the May 10 town board meeting at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 100 Main St.