- Associated Press - Monday, February 10, 2014

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) - Taking a cue from the anti-blight efforts of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, the City of Henderson plans to develop a definitive list of which properties are in foreclosure.

The Abandoned Residential Real Property Registry is expected to be launched in the next three months and will include contact information for the owner or property manager, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal (https://bit.ly/1ghAi1T). The list will offer a point person when city officials notice broken windows, green pools or other signs of neglect.

“I can’t tell you how many times code-enforcement (officers) waste a lot of their time running around trying to figure out who is responsible,” Henderson Neighborhood Services Manager Barbara Geach told the City Council last week. “This would require real-time contact information so we know who to deal with.”

Las Vegas started a foreclosure registry in December 2011. Officials said 5,113 properties have been registered, generating $741,800 in fees for the city. North Las Vegas adopted a similar ordinance in December 2012, but the city’s numbers weren’t immediately available.

Henderson’s program requires the mortgage holder of a vacant home to register the property with the city’s Community Development Services Department. The fee for initial registration is $200, while the cost of changing contact information is $50.

Mortgagees will be responsible for a $200 annual fee for as long as the property remains on the register.

Failure to comply could lead to a $150-per-day fine and a misdemeanor citation from Henderson’s code-enforcement department.

“Homes have to be secure,” Geach said. “We can’t have abandoned homes that have broken windows and doors that don’t exist.”

The measure could save taxpayers the cost of securing the properties - an expense that is rarely recouped, city officials said.

“Currently, the city only discovers abandoned residential property after the home has fallen into disrepair and generated complaints from neighbors,” city officials said in a statement. “The ordinance also allows the city to utilize various enforcement remedies for the responsible party that refuse to maintain their properties.”

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