SUMTER, SC (DECEMBER 15, 2015) - The City of Sumter launched a new webpage to allow owners of vacant residential structures within the City limits to register the property. Beginning January 1, 2016, registration will be mandatory.
In April 2015, the City Council enacted an ordinance requiring registration of vacant residential structures. The ordinance becomes effective on the first day of the next calendar year (2016). There is no fee for the first year of registration. For each additional year during which a residential structure remains vacant, however, additional fees will apply.
“Property that is vacant for an extended period becomes a problem for surrounding property owners and diminishes the value of surrounding property,” state Joe McElveen, Mayor, City of Sumter. “Vacant property also increases the expenditures our City must make in areas like law enforcement, fire prevention, and public health.”
Property owners may register online at www.sumtersc.gov/vacant-property-program.aspx, or in person at the Codes Enforcement Office located at 12 W. Liberty Street.
Owners of residential structures that are vacant as of January 1, 2016, have until March 1, 2016 to register. For residential structures that become vacant thereafter, owners will have 30 days to register after the property becomes vacant. Owners who fail to register vacant residential structures will be in violation of the City Code and will be subject to penalties.
Additionally, the City Code states that for so long as a residential structure remains vacant, the owner must secure the structure, maintain the structure and grounds, and post a sign with contact information on the vacant structure.
For more information on the Vacant Property Registration, contact the Sumter Planning Department at 803-774-1600, visit their office at 12 W. Liberty Street, or review the code online at www.sumtersc.gov/vacant-property-program.aspx.