“Problem of abandoned property needs a solution” (Our Views, June 17) criticized Oklahoma House Bill 2620, which prohibits vacant property registration/fees. I know of elderly people on otherwise fixed incomes who have a few rental houses. They can easily have a couple of leases expire at the same time, which would leave them with multiple vacancies, repairs that require time to accumulate funds with which to do those repairs, time to complete them and time for marketing.
So cities like Oklahoma City pass an ordinance to kick them in the teeth while they’re down by charging a stiff recurring fee of $285 on their well-kept properties. Many other similar scenarios exist. This registration/fee ordinance also affected other properties such as commercial rentals that will take longer to repair and extended marketing times while vacant.
Charging mandatory property registration fees just because a property is vacant is a violation of constitutional private property rights. Cities have code enforcement, fees, etc., to abate dilapidated, nuisance properties.
Ken Moore, Oklahoma City