Vacant Property Ordinance

Pursuant to Tarentum Borough Ordinance No. 18-03 all vacant and abandoned buildings and structures in the Borough must be registered after thirty (30) consecutive days of vacancy.

Summary

Properties which are vacant for more than 30 days must register with the Code Office and pay a registration fee.  Such properties are subject to an annual inspection.  Properties must comply with local code.  Violations of Borough Code or registration procedures could result in court proceedings and fines.  Vacant storefronts must comply with the registration requirements and also contain an appropriate window display or screen on the first floor.

Annual Registration Fees

Vacant less than one (1) year: $150
Vacant one year: $300
Vacant two years: $500
Vacant three to four years: $1,000
Vacant five to nine years: $2,500
Vacant ten years: $5,000

Payment and Mailing Info:

Payment and Registration Form can be brought or sent to:
Tarentum Borough
ATTN: Vacant Property
318 2nd Avenue
Tarentum, PA 15084

Checks payable to: Tarentum Borough

Inspection Process

Following verification of registration and payment, you will be contacted by the Tarentum Borough Building Code Official to schedule a property inspection.  The Borough will attempt to coordinate dates and times that are most suitable to the owner's needs.  

Report a Vacant Property

Please provide your name and email. Should the Borough have any questions regarding the property, it is helpful to have contact information. Please click here to notify the Borough of an existing vacant property.

Your assistance is notifying the Borough of vacant properties is extremely valuable. However, it is important to note that simply reporting a vacancy does not mean that the Borough will immediately make progress or rectify issues. As we all know, some vacant properties are severely dilapidated and need to be demolished. Some vacancies should be boarded up to prevent safety concerns or vandalism. Some vacancies are aesthetically undesirable. The Borough is aware of these issues. We will strive to take corrective action and rectify these issues.

Even if action may not be immediately undertaken towards a visible remedy, your report helps the Borough in several key ways. The Borough can now monitor the property. The Borough can look into remediation options. The Borough can track development or progress at the property. Lastly, vacant properties must now be registered in the Borough so that we can take measures to prevent safety concerns, hazards and other issues from arising in these locations.
 
Tarentum Borough is beginning to use various tools and modern technology to assess our property market. We want to gain a better understanding of our economic conditions, while at the same time studying the layout of various neighborhoods.  Every piece of information is vital as we work toward tracking and resolving issues in our community.

Ordinance Details and Registration Process

The vacant property registration Ordinance applies to all abandoned and vacant structures within Tarentum Borough. A property is considered vacant if no person lawfully resides or conducts business there for more than sixty (60) days. If a property is deemed vacant, it must be registered within thirty (30) days. See Step 2 below.

Should your property become vacant, please fill the attached form. You must submit the registration form and registration fee to the Borough within thirty (30) days of the vacancy. If you do not reside within forty (40) miles from the Borough, you must designate a local agent who will be jointly responsible for satisfying the terms and conditions of this Ordinance.

You will be contacted by the Tarentum Borough code enforcement office to schedule a vacant property inspection. The inspection will determine whether the property meets the minimum requirements of all applicable property maintenance codes, building codes and fire prevention codes. Property owners will be given an opportunity to remedy any existing violations.

Property owners shall be responsible to keep the property free of overgrown vegetation, trash accumulation, and other property maintenance concerns. The property shall be adequately secured to prevent unauthorized trespass, vandalism or rodent infestation.

Each year, by July 15, the property owner or local agent must submit payment of the annual registration fee and schedule a property inspection.

Should your property satisfy certain conditions under the Ordinance, you may request a waiver of the registration fees. The following conditions of Section 3.3 must be met:

  1. All local municipal fees are paid in full; and,
  2. A good faith effort is shown to rent, sell, or lease the space; and,
  3. Pricing is consistent with other similar buildings; and,
  4. The building is in compliance with all Tarentum Borough codes and ordinances; and,
  5. The building is habitable.

Online Registration Form

Please fill out the form below. You will be contacted by the Code Enforcement Officer to schedule a vacant property inspection.

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Report A Vacant Property

Please fill out the form below to report a known or possibly vacant property. The Borough appreciates your assistance.

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Research

The publication and information below will provide valuable insight on the true cost of vacant and abandoned properties.

Publications:
Understanding the True Costs of Abandoned Properties | Aaron Klein | January 2017

On quantifying costs of vacant structures: “These costs may appear self evident at first – the reduction in property value for the building, for neighbors, for the community – but they are often broader than commonly appreciated: major costs stem from increased crime and arson generated from abandoned properties.”

Four effects of deteriorated properties: “1. Reduction in property value of surrounding homes  2. Increased crime  3. Increased probability of fire  4. Reduced tax base for local governments”

Why Reporting Matters:

Your assistance in notifying the Borough of vacant properties is extremely valuable. However, it is important to note that simply reporting a vacancy does not mean that the Borough will immediately make progress or rectify issues. As we all know, some vacant properties are severely dilapidated and need to be demolished. Some vacancies should be boarded up to prevent safety concerns or vandalism. Some vacancies are aesthetically undesirable. The Borough is aware of these issues. We will strive to take corrective action and rectify these issues.
 

Even if action may not be immediately undertaken towards a visible remedy, your report helps the Borough in several key ways. The Borough can now monitor the property. The Borough can look into remediation options. The Borough can track development or progress at the property. Lastly, vacant properties must now be registered in the Borough so that we can take measures to prevent safety concerns, hazards and other issues from arising in these locations.

Tarentum Borough is beginning to use various tools and modern technology to assess our property market. We want to gain a better understanding of our economic conditions, while at the same time studying the layout of various neighborhoods.  Every piece of information is vital as we work toward tracking and resolving issues in our community.