On October 9, 2021, the Anniston City Council passed Ordinance #21-O-16 requiring the registration of vacant and abandoned properties within the City. This vacant property registry will provide our municipal government with contact information relative to the responsible parties of abandoned, foreclosed and vacant properties. The associated vacancy registration fees required by this ordinance will also help offset the cost incurred by our Building and Safety Division in their efforts to monitor and address these vacant properties. Ultimately, the utilization of this vacant property registry will greatly aid in encouraging the repair and rehabilitation of vacant and abandoned properties, thus contributing to the stabilization of surrounding property values and the public safety of our communities.
The vacant property ordinance allows for the city to contract with a third-party company in order to administer the vacant registry program. The third-party company will contact all vacant property owners/creditors, obtain their registration details, and collect the required fees on behalf of the city. On October 20, 2021, city leadership contracted out this process to MuniReg, LLC (https://bit.ly/3KuGp5G) to administer the registry on the city’s behalf. Upon receiving email or phone contact from MuniReg, LLC, should you have any concerns, or would like to request an exemption, or would like to dispute your property being vacant, please contact MuniReg, LLC directly at email@example.com or 866-686-4734 extension 1. You may also contact the City of Anniston’s Code Enforcement Department with questions at:
- Tana Bryant | Senior Code Enforcement Officer | 256-231-7733 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tristen Taylor | Code Enforcement Officer | 256-241-7161 | email@example.com.
To review the full ordinance, please follow this link: https://bit.ly/3KvqXq3.
An overview of vacant property registration requirements may be viewed below:
- Upon knowledge of a commercial or industrial building or residential property being vacant, the owner and/or creditor shall within fifteen (15) days register the property as a vacant property with the Building and Safety Division of the City of Anniston.
- Upon initiating the legal process to foreclose real property, but no later than upon filing a complaint of foreclosure, or upon executing a deed in lieu of foreclosure on a commercial or industrial building or residential property, a creditor shall within seven (7) days register the property as a property in foreclosure with the Building and Safety Division of the City of Anniston.
- Registration shall include the address of the property, the name and contact information of the agent for the creditor, if applicable, the name and contact information for a property preservation company or property manager, if applicable, along with any additional information deemed necessary by the fire marshal or his/her designee, in his capacity as director of the Building and Safety Division.
- A creditor is required to update the registration form with all pertinent information when a commercial or industrial building or residential property becomes vacant at any time after submission of their initial registration.
Please note that some exceptions to this program exist. The City of Anniston’s Fire Marshal or may exempt a property from the registration and fee requirements for various instances, such as:
- The property is habitable wherein all building systems are in sound working order which is evidenced by the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
- An owner submits plans to the building and safety division demonstrating that the property will be rehabilitated and restored to productive use and occupancy within twelve (12) months following the initial property registration.
- An owner certifies to the building and safety division that the vacancy is a result of damage from a natural disaster in the past six (6) months and the owner is actively seeking insurance assistance to rehabilitate the property.
- An owner certifies the vacancy is a result of a fire in the past thirty (30) days and the owner is actively seeking insurance proceeds to rehabilitate the property.
- An owner certifies to the designated municipal official that the vacancy is not an abandonment and is utilized as a vacation home.
- An owner is on active duty with any branch of the U.S. Armed Services.
For more information on exceptions, or general details about this program, please contact the city’s Fire Marshal, Jason Brown, at: Office: 256-231-7650 | Cell: 256-282-2767 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.