Town forcing landlords to turn triplexes into duplexes?

11 Replies

Im new to real estate investing. 

Im interested in buying a property in Middletown NY, however my real estate agent told me the town is forcing landlords to convert triplexes into duplexes when they can't fill the vacancy fast enough. He also said this makes triplexes difficult to find in the area. 

Im not certain what this means on the macro side of things. Does this mean they are looking to increase the number of owner occupied properties? Could they just be trying to decrease local vacancies? Will this force property values to increase? (I think it may) 

What does this mean for real estate investment? Does this make for a difficult first investment? Have any of you experienced a situation similar to this? 

Thank you! 

-Jeff 

Hello Jeff, 

I have been working in Middletown, NY for a few years now. I have plenty of experience dealing with the city and the code enforcers in the area. 

I believe what your real estate agent is telling you is as follows: the CIty of Middletown is enforcing the current zoning status. If there is a tri-plex in an R-2 zoning area (non-owner 2 family), they will make you convert it into a 2 family. Additionally, if you find a property in a OR-2 area (owner occupied - 2 family only), they will not allow you to rent out both units. 

Based on this, you just need to be careful when looking at properties to check the zoning map. 

I think the reason the city is cracking down on this is to increase home ownership. 

That sounds like a " taking" of private property without payment .  Zoning in my area has a non conforming or grandfathered clause . They wont allow new triplexes , but if its already there its legal 

I actually had 2 properties that they forced me to convert into a duplex from a triplex. 

In the city of Middletown, in order to operate a rental property you need to have a rental permit. For anything other than single family properties, you need to renew every year for the permit. They have annual inspections of the units after you apply for the permit.

If you have a triplex property that is zoned for a duplex, they won't allow you to renew the permit. If you continue to rent it out without the valid permit, they will take you to court. 

Wow, that is crazy @Jeff Hozias . Kudos to having an intelligent realtor giving you the heads up. 

@Tzvi Muser - does the city pay for you to convert and any loss rents for the next X # of years? Any insight on the reasoning they are forcing this? 

Thank you so much! 

This was super helpful to understand what my next move should be. It seems it may not be the best area for a first investment property, especially if im not planning on living there.  Are any of you investing in nearby areas to Middletown NY and Goshen? 

I live in Rockland NY but properties are too expensive here. Looking for better and developing markets up state with decent school districts. 

Any advice? 

Originally posted by @Jay Helms :

Wow, that is crazy @Jeff Hozias . Kudos to having an intelligent realtor giving you the heads up. 

@Tzvi Muser - does the city pay for you to convert and any loss rents for the next X # of years? Any insight on the reasoning they are forcing this? 

 You can apply for a financial hardship and have it deferred for 5 years. I don't think we had any luck with it personally though. 

Originally posted by @Jeff Hozias :

Thank you so much! 

This was super helpful to understand what my next move should be. It seems it may not be the best area for a first investment property, especially if im not planning on living there.  Are any of you investing in nearby areas to Middletown NY and Goshen? 

I live in Rockland NY but properties are too expensive here. Looking for better and developing markets up state with decent school districts. 

Any advice? 

 I'm from Rockland myself and thus have chosen to work in the Orange County area. We do manage properties throughout Orange County; Warwick, Goshen & New Windsor to name a few. Although, I've found Middletown the easiest to find tenants. 

Originally posted by @Tzvi Muser :

 I'm from Rockland myself and thus have chosen to work in the Orange County area. We do manage properties throughout Orange County; Warwick, Goshen & New Windsor to name a few. Although, I've found Middletown the easiest to find tenants. 

 @Tzvi Muser thanks for the insight, I too was looking to invest in Middletown as well, I might reconsider now. Do you manage any properties in Ellenville? 

Originally posted by @Tzvi Muser :

 I'm from Rockland myself and thus have chosen to work in the Orange County area. We do manage properties throughout Orange County; Warwick, Goshen & New Windsor to name a few. Although, I've found Middletown the easiest to find tenants. 

 @Tzvi Muser thanks for the insight, I too was looking to invest in Middletown as well, I might reconsider now. Do you manage any properties in Ellenville? 

Originally posted by @Raymond Reyes :

 @Tzvi Muser thanks for the insight, I too was looking to invest in Middletown as well, I might reconsider now. Do you manage any properties in Ellenville? 

 We have in the Town of Mamakating, but nothing in Ellenville. 

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