Cherry Hill Township will be keeping a closer eye on homes for sale in hopes of reducing the number of unkempt properties.
Council passed a new ordinance at last night’s meeting requiring all single-family homes to receive an exterior property area inspection when they are sold. The new procedure will take effect Nov. 1.
Erin Gill, director of policy and planning for the township, described the ordinance as a way for the township to crack down on nonconforming properties when they are up for sale. An inspection will be required for a home to receive a certificate of occupancy. If any repairs need to be done to the property, they must be completed within 30 days of the inspection.
“This is really just an effort to keep up on the blighted homes in the town,” she said.
The exterior property inspection does not involve the actual home. Rather, it involves the property surrounding the home, including the grass, sidewalks, trees and other aspects.
Gill said one of the most frequent types of complaints the township receives is from residents whose neighbors are not keeping their properties up to code, which could become an eyesore and reduce neighboring property values.
Gill added the township is not changing any part of the property maintenance code. It is simply enforcing it during home transactions.
“It’s in line with what a lot of property inspectors do anyway,” Gill said.
The township is not rolling out mandatory inspections until Nov. 1 to help prepare residents and Realtors. Information on the new procedure will be posted in the near future on the township website, www.cherryhill-nj.com.
The township is also planning a public education campaign to help prepare everyone for the changes. Gill said the township wants to make the transition as smooth as possible.
“We want to inform the public and we want to meet with the Realtors,” she said. “We don’t want to hold up sales.”