The Staten Island Advance reported that on December 20, 2016, a new law protecting communities from the blight caused by zombie homes will take effect.

Said James Prendamano, Managing Director of Casandra Properties, “I applaud Governor Cuomo and the legislature for passing “Zombie” legislation and hope the banks and mortgage companies take action to comply.

“In essence, what happens when a bank or mortgage company forecloses on a property is that they write the asset off and abandon it because maintaining it is just an added expense.  These properties have become known as “zombie” properties.

“Banks aren’t in the business of owning real estate so, until now, there was no incentive for them to maintain or sell the property.  This new legislation will impose a $500 daily fine for each property that is not maintained, giving the banks and mortgage companies a reason to work with local contractors to maintain the property and local realtors to sell it so they can quickly move the asset off their books.

“This legislation could be an opportunity for banks to work with local minority and women owned businesses as well as build good will with the community.”

The bill was co-sponsored by Nicole Malliotakis in the Assembly and supported by Diane Savino in the Senate after a recent study found that there are 303 zombie homes on Staten Island following the devastation that occurred from Super Storm Sandy.

It is estimated that the zombie homes is causing property values in surrounding neighborhoods to plummet by more than $50 million dollars.

Among other things, the law requires banks and mortgage providers to complete inspections of properties that are subject to delinquency within 90 days; secure and maintain properties they believe to be abandoned and report all vacant and abandoned properties to the Department of Finance.