Absentee landlords beware, Oswego considers new law

What would you do if your landlord lives across the country and doesn't keep up the property? The City of Oswego has proposed an interesting solution to this growing dilemma.

On Monday night, the Oswego City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing and then vote on a resolution that forces a type of residency requirement for landlords. The amendment to the city code would require out of town landlords to hire a designated property manager who must live within a 25 mile radius of the city limits.

Code Enforcement Director Neal Smith tells CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that in recent years Oswego, like many Central New York communities, has experienced a growing problem with out of town people who will buy up rental properties without even inspecting them. Smith says there are examples of investors who live as far away as California and Georgia buying homes in Oswego over the internet.

Smith says "In many cases properties are not properly managed," and fall into neglect. When that happens, often Oswego officials will "need someone locally" to deal with.

The proposed law would allow the city to deal directly with a local property manager who has the power to address code violations and other property issues.

Smith says there are about 3,000 rental units in Oswego. Many of them are rented to students who attend SUNY Oswego.

What do you think of such a law? Should other communities, including Syracuse follow Oswego's lead? Do you think this is an unfair burden on property owners?