Do city code enforcement violations get wiped out after a trustee sale?


#1

Many properties have sat empty for months before going to sale.

Weeds have grown and pools have become swamps. Cities are jumping on these code violations for the needed revenue.

Do these code violations that have been slapped on the properties get wiped out after a trustee/foreclosure sale? If not is there a legal avenue to avoid being responsible for these fines?

What has your experience been with city fines?


#2

The city/county can record a notice of abatement, this is simply a notice. They can also record a lien, after an abatement hearing and that has penalties. Depending on how they have been written, these appear to remain. They can also record a stipulated agreement between the property owner and the agency, these are not quite as bullet proof. Keep in mind that you may be able to negotiate something with the agency after the purchase. Although the foreclosure may wipe out some aspects of the documents recorded, the actual reasons for the abatement does not go away. Illegal building, failed septic systems, junk yard conditions, etc, will still have to be fixed. If you see a something recorded by the city/county regarding an abatement, you can access the code enforcement files at the planning or building department and see what the problems are. These can be great opportunities, but trust me, it is not for the meek. Cities/Counties are money hungry and it is their perception that buyers at auction are making a killing and they want a cut of the action. Don’t expect them to greet you with open arms becuase you are willing to fix a distressed property. They are too worried about saving their own skins.


#3

Mr. Richard,

Thanks for the response.

That’s about what I think about these notices. I once had a property I was helping a client purchase in the City of Adelanto and they attached over $2000 in fees to the property which title popped up last minute. The fees were for dead grass and weeds. It was a banked owned home so the bank took care of paying the fine but the city and title wanted something in writing from my client stating that they would be responsible for any new fines after the close of escrow and that they would be responsible for remedying the blight. The breakdown of the fines total was for attorneys fees, city clerk fees, paying someone to keep going back to the property to take pictures, administration. You get the picture. Good grief