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Vacant Property Registration

The City of Takoma Park requires the registration of all vacant residential, commercial, multi-family, industrial and institutional properties and structures located within the city, to discourage their abandonment and neglect.

Takoma Park Code Chapter 6.38 – Vacant Property Registration

Types of Registration

  • Vacant Property: If a building, structure, or portion of a structure is not used or occupied for over 30 days, it must be registered as a Vacant Property. A Vacant Property may be registered by the owner of record, or by an agent for the owner, provided the agent’s written authorization from the owner is also provided.
  • Vacant Distressed Property: If the property has been sold under a tax lien sale or foreclosure, or is in the process of either, the property will need to be registered as a Vacant Distressed Property. A “distressed property” can also include one that is vacant as a result of probate or the death of the owner of record. A Vacant Distressed Property must be registered by the responsible party or their designee.

Application

There is a $200 annual fee for annual registration, due July 1st each year, until the property is no longer vacant.

Failure to register your vacant property will result in the issuance of a municipal infraction citation, a fine, and possibly a court appearance.

Posting Requirements

All registered Vacant Properties and Vacant Distressed Properties must be posted as follows:

  • Notice must list name and 24-hour contact number for owner/agent/property management company
  • Notice must be no larger than 8 ½ x 14”
  • Notice must not be illuminated
  • Notice must be posted inside of front-facing window if possible, or on front door or other area visible from street
  • Notice must be weather-resistant if it is posted on the front door or other exposed exterior surface.
  • Owner/agent/property management company must inspect monthly to ensure notice still posted

Additional Authority

The City has the authority to require the lender, mortgagee and/or owner or owner’s agent to implement additional maintenance and/or security measures. These include securing doors and windows, security lighting, employing an on-site security guard, or any other measures as may be reasonably required to prevent the deterioration of the property.

Vacant Property Inspection

A Vacant Property does not have to be registered if

  • The property remains furnished, has utilities connected, and is maintained while the owner is absent, for less than one (1) year.
  • The building or structure is under active construction or renovation with a valid permit within six (6) months of being vacated, unless work stops for a period of over thirty (30) days without good cause being shown.
  • The building is actively for sale or rent for under six (6) months. There must also be proof that is actively being advertised. This can be a sign posted on the property with contact information, a listing agreement with realty contact information, an MRIS or MLS electronic listing, or some other advertisement for sale or rent. The exemption from registration may be extended for one six (6) month period if proof is shown that the building is still actively for sale or for rent.
  • There is any pending action, such as bankruptcy, probate or other court or other administrative action that would prohibit the owner or owner’s agent from taking any actions required by the City. The owner or owner’s agent is required by law to inform the City of these issues.

Should a vacant property become occupied at any time after registration, the responsible party or owner must submit an amended registration form with corroborating documentation to request the property be removed from the vacant property registration.

To Report a Vacant Property

To report a vacant property, use My TKPK or contact Neighborhood Services through the Police non-emergency number 301-270-1100.

For Additional Information

For additional information on the Vacant and Distressed Properties Initiative, please see the project page or contact the Housing and Community Development Department at 301.891.7119 / housing@takomaparkmd.gov

Vacant Property Registration Sections