A proposal to let Clark County fine the owners of junky properties $1,000 a day for as long as two years was softened and put on hold today.
Commissioner Lawrence Weekly had asked that the fines be boosted to motivate neglectful owners to act more quickly on overgrown weeds, trash in the yard and other nuisances.
He noted that blighted properties are a longtime problem in his east-side district.
While other areas of the valley enjoyed prosperity, “the core area was forgotten about,” Weekly said.
His fellow commissioners mostly supported his idea but had some concerns.
They asked that the cap be lowered to the current $10,000, rather than let the clock run for two years, which could add up to $730,000. They also requested that fines be structured to allow ones smaller than $1,000 a day.
Weekly agreed to both the cap and the smaller fines. But he reminded his colleagues that he had proposed tougher penalties because the current ones weren’t working, especially on out-of-state landlords.
A revised version will come back before the commission within six weeks.
Commissioner Susan Brager said a distinction should be made between absentee landlords who neglect their rental properties and homeowners losing their houses in foreclosures.
A real estate representative shared her concern.
During foreclosure, there’s typically a transition in which homeowners move out and often leave the state, especially if they’ve been laid off, said Kipp Cooper of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.
The fine is often attached to the property as a lien that the buyer inherits, Cooper said.
Cooper said a $10,000 maximum fine, if enforced, should be plenty.
Commissioner Larry Brown said “stakeholders” such as real estate agents, property managers and residents should be allowed to weigh in.
Last year, 234 residential property owners were cited, said Joe Boteilho, the county’s code enforcement chief.
The county has more than $60,000 in uncollected fines, he said.
Contact reporter Scott Wyland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-455-4519.