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Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 29, 2017

Contact: Jane Lerner, Director of Strategic Communications
Office of the County Executive (845) 638-5645

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Rental Registry Goes into Effect as Part of Rockland Codes Initiative

NEW CITY, NY – Rockland County Executive Ed Day announced that the countywide Multiple Dwelling Rental Registry, the fourth part of the Rockland Codes Initiative, went into effect today.

The Rental Registry requires owners of dwelling with three or more units to register on-line with the Rockland Department of Health and to provide a certificate of occupancy and other information.

"We have had ongoing problems with some landlords who take advantage of a tight market and vulnerable tenants to collect rent on substandard housing," he said. "No more. We will not tolerate unsafe, unsanitary housing in Rockland County. We will not put up with landlords who prey on tenants."

Landlords will have to pay $25 per unit to register. Once they register, the Rockland County Department of Health will issue a Rental Registry Certificate.

Landlords who do not have the certificate will be given a chance to get one. If they fail to comply, they will be face fines of up to $2,000 per day under the County sanitary code.

"I have said it before and I will say it again: the goal is not to collect fines," the County Executive said. "The goal is to get compliance."

Many landlords do comply with regulations, the County Executive said. He made the announcement at a well-maintained property in on Clove Avenue in Haverstraw, where he was accompanied by Haverstraw Mayor Michael Kohut, Rockland Commissioner of Health Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert and Rockland Deputy Commissioner of Health Catherine Johnson Southren, who is also head of the RCI program.

"Properties like this show that it is possible for owners to comply with regulations and still run a profitable rental business," Day said.

The Rockland Codes Initiative allows residents to report unsafe housing conditions through a confidential web-based system. The involves the efforts of the Rockland Department of Health, which coordinates with other county agencies.

There are four parts to the codes initiative:

• Stepped up enforcement of the Rockland County Sanitary Code
• A website with a confidential form that people can use to report unsafe housing.
• Rockland County's Worst Landlord Watch List
• The Multiple Dwelling Rental Registry website:

In 2016, the Rockland Codes Initiative received almost 1,200 complaints. A total of 6,574 violations – a third of them critical, life-threatening safety violations were cited by county inspectors and more than $500,000 in fines were assessed.

"We want landlords to maintain their rental properties in accordance with health and sanitary codes so that the families – men, women and children – who live there are safe and our first-responders aren't going blind into a death trap," the County Executive said. "If we have to assess fines to make these property owners do the right thing, that is what we will do."

Website for Rental Registry:

http://rocklandgov.com/departments/health/housing/multiple-dwelling-rental-registry/

Pictured: Haverstraw Mayor Michael Kohut, Rockland Commissioner of Health Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, County Executive Ed Day and Rockland Deputy Commissioner of Health Catherine Johnson Southren, who is also head of the RCI program.