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Do you own a property in Milwaukee that is empty and unoccupied? Did you know that you are required to register your vacant home in Milwaukee under the city’s VBR ordinance by law? Continue reading to learn more about vacant properties and the rules behind them in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Vacant Building Registration (VBR) Ordinance

Milwaukee city faces an ironic problem. The increasing property rates make finding affordable housing challenging. However, vacant properties pose safety threats due to squatters, theft, and accidents.

As a result, the city council passed the VBR (Vacant Building Registration) ordinance on January 1, 2010. This ordinance requires commercial and residential property owners to register properties that remain vacant for 30 or more days. They must register the property with the DNS (Department of Neighborhood Services) and ensure that it is properly maintained, safe, and secure so that it does not pose a hazard to the community.

Property owners have to file the DNS-18A form within 30 days after it becomes vacant. The cost to register an empty building is free for the first six months. If the house remains vacant after that, the property owner will be charged a fee for every subsequent registration with the DNS. The DNS does a house inspection every six months, and the owner has to pay the price for it after the first six months.

Vacant Homes Owners’ Responsibility

The property owner must maintain the interior and exterior of the property safely and securely, even if it is vacant. The DNS publishes a vacant building checklist. Home inspectors evaluate the property for each of these criteria once every six months. Here are the top items included in the list:

Lot Maintenance Standards

· Grass and weeds on the premises should be trimmed and kept neat.

· Public sidewalks adjoining the home should be clear of snow.

· Junk, waste, and any other garbage that creates a health and safety hazard is not permitted to accumulate on the exterior of the building.

· The structure should not be conducive to rodent harborage.

· All fences and gates should be maintained in proper condition.

Exterior Maintenance Standards

· Foundations, basements, cellars, crawlspaces, exterior walls should be appropriately maintained.

· The roof, chimney, exterior windows, and doors should be sound to prevent rain and snow from entering the building.

Interior Maintenance Standards

· There should be no accumulation of junk, rubbish, trash, lumber, and debris inside the building.

· Structural support should be safe and not pose a hazard to surrounding buildings.

· The owner is responsible for the extermination of rodents and other pests.

· All entry and exit doors should be fixed with a deadbolt and lock.

Leaving your Milwaukee home vacant is expensive and can be a major hassle. You have to spend thousands of dollars on repairs and the general upkeep of the property. Plus, you have to register it with the DNS and undergo home inspections every six months.

The smarter choice is to sell or rent your Milwaukee home. If you want to sell a house fast in Milwaukee, you can skip the traditional route of listing and selling your property with a realtor. Instead, you can connect directly with cash home buyers in Milwaukee and quickly sell your property without complicated paperwork. Work out the costs of leaving your property vacant and decide if it’s worth the hassle.