RIO RANCHO – New rules city councilors approved last week require financial institutions that own foreclosed properties in Rio Rancho to keep them spiffy and secure.
City leaders say the new ordinance is aimed at keeping hundreds of foreclosed homes scattered throughout the city from becoming neglected and prey to vandals, graffiti artists and rodents.
It requires banks or other institutions that hold mortgages on vacant properties to:
- Register them with the city.
- Maintain the landscaping, remove weeds, dead vegetation and trash.
- Keep the property secure from intruders.
Vacant houses can attract illegal activities such as methamphetamine production, rapes and drug deals, said Councilor Michael Williams, a former law enforcement officer. Neighbors can be concerned that they drag down home values, he said.