Las Vegas councilman proposing ordinance to tackle squatter problem

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - Las Vegas Councilman Steve Ross is proposing a new city ordinance he says would assist in the fight against squatters.

The city already has a plan in place to require homeowners to register foreclosed homes with the city, but right now that doesn't apply to homes that are vacant or abandoned but not yet foreclosed on.

The ordinance would close that loophole, meaning if code enforcement found a home that was abandoned, they could track down the owners and require them to either get it fixed or pay $200 annually to register it with the city.

They could also face fines for not doing so.

"The idea behind this is to hold owners accountable," Ross says.

Neighbors in areas where squatters have taken hold think this could be step in the right direction. "The landlords need to be responsible," says Stephen White, who lives near 10th and Bonanza.

He says code enforcement has done a good job cleaning up his area, but there's only so much they do.  He thinks the proposed ordinance would be a good tool in the city's arsenal.

Right now, the proposal is still in the early stages. It would still need to be recommended and voted on.

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