Posted by: Dawn Powell | February 18, 2016

I don’t understand why SamO is digging his heels in on this one.

On requiring inspection to sell property.  It really isn’t possible to limit what a CEO can do when he goes in for an inspection.

I think that these public hearings should be cancelled.  There is no clear reason for these laws, and a lot of well-thought out objection.  “Public health and safety” is not an excuse for the damage done with these laws.  Council Members Annabi and MacKay do not support them.

The public hearing is March 9.  You can send your objections by email.  Before that time we will try to supply background and information to anyone interested.

One section of the CO Law:

“Occupancy or use after sale or transfer of any improved real property, including an individual condominium unit and an individual cooperative unit which, for the purposes of this section, shall be considered a piece of improved real property. Upon sale or transfer of any such real property, an updated certificate of occupancy, issued no earlier than 60 days before closing, shall be required before the premises or unit may be used or occupied. It shall be the obligation of the seller to apply for and obtain the updated certificate of occupancy unless the parties agree otherwise in their contract of sale about rental units.”


A section about inspection of rental units.

“The Code Enforcement Official is authorized to make, or cause to be made, inspections, from time to time, to determine the condition of rental dwelling units and to safeguard the health, safety, morals and welfare of the public. The Code Enforcement Official is
authorized to enter, upon consent of the owner  or occupant any rental dwelling unit and the premises in which same, is located, at any reasonable time during dayìight hours, or at such other times as may be necessary in an emergency without consent of the owner or occupant for the purpose of performing his duties under this chapter. It shall be a condition of each rental occupancy permit, expressly stated therein, that the Code Enforcement Official shall have the right to inspect each permitted dwelling unit, during the term of the permit, in accordance herewith, for the purpose of performing his duties under this chapter.”

Aside from wondering about the morals of the public, questions about rental units.

1.  How many rental units does this town currently have?

2.  How many complaints have been registered with the town about rental units in the last ten years?

3.  What exactly precipitated the proposed law?  

4. Was this law requested by the Building Inspector, who is granted unprecedented discretionary power under this law?

5.  Why is the Building Inspector granted the right to inspect rental houses at any time (a huge impingement on the privacy of the tenant) without even the requirement of a complaint?

6. By State Law, Building Inspectors have tremendous power that can not be reigned in by the Town Board once the Building Inspector is appointed.   As the law under consideration grants tremendous additional discretion and power to the Building Inspector that can easily be abused, the appointment of the wrong person to the Building Inspector’s job in the future could lead to widespread discontent in the town.  The Town Board should seriously reconsider granting the Building Inspector such broad powers.

7.  Why are the end of Section 14 [Penalties for Offenses] and Sections 15 [Penalties for Offenses] and 16 [Administration] missing from the document posted on the Town website?    – supposedly because the Town Board hasn’t decided on the punishment, but really?????

This link isn’t working.  I will try to correct that later.

According to this, there were 558 renter occupied units in Putnam Valley in 2010.
These represented 13.2% of the occupied housing units.
Total Town population was 11,809.
There were 1,301 (11%) people living in renter-occupied housing units.

There were 10,492 (88%) people living in owner-occupied housing

In addition, there were 621 “vacant housing units” of which 400 units (8.3%) were used for seasonal, recreational or occasional use, 46 (1%) were for rent and 4 (.1%) were unoccupied rental units. (Note: The great majority of the seasonal houses are probably not rentals.)
The rental vacancy rate was calculated to be 7.6%, but that includes the seasonal houses.


  1. The meeting from last night with good public discussion is now streaming online via the town website. Worth watching to see SamO defend the indefensible.

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