As college students flock to area campuses, landlords in New Rochelle are registering off-campus housing for the first time.
City council passed a law on July 12 that requires property owners who house three or more students to register as student housing businesses by Sept. 30.
Council member Barry Fertel sponsored the law because of complaints he had received about overcrowding and nuisances at off-campus housing.
The law was cast as a way to protect students from overcrowding, mitigate the impact of student housing on neighborhoods, create a comprehensive directory and provide contact information for emergencies.
The law requires an around-the-clock property manager and gives the fire department and building officials the right to inspect the properties periodically.
It applies to all residences, from houses to apartment buildings, in which at least three students live, including students on a semester or summer break.
The housing must comply with zoning and building regulations. Code violations must be corrected before a registration certificate is issued.
The registration form includes the address; corporate name and contact information; owner name and contact information; name of a property manager who is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week; number of bedrooms and number of students residing there; locations of smoke detectors, fire alarm system and fire extinguishers; and locations of hazardous materials.
The registration certificate must be displayed prominently. It expires on May 31 and must be renewed each year.
The certificate can be revoked and the business can be fined $150 if the registration contains false information.
Failure to register, or violation of any of the provisions of the student housing business law, can result in a fine of $250 per day, culminating at $2,500 for the first offense. Subsequent offenses will cost $500 a day, up to a maximum of $2,500.
The registration form is at newrochelleny.com/studenthousing.
The new law, Fertel said at a council meeting, will give the city “a better grip on what’s going on.”