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REAL ESTATE code enforcement problems

rcardin

Contributor
Oct 30, 2007
512
46
32
Arlington, TX
Code enforcement is all over my owner finance buyer. She is on agreement for deed so legally she has beneficial right to the property although the deed is in my name.

Code enforcement has been on her to keep the property clean. I have been over there a couple of times because of notices left on my door about it. Well I have now received 2 tickets for a total of 5 violations! One of the violations was a brush pile in the back yard consisting of about 10 limbs from a small tree. I met with them Wednesday to go over the violations and propose a solution but I still have to go to court. I asked the lady that wrote the tickets if I can request a Jury trial and she said yes. first step is a pretrial meeting with the city attorney.

Section 4.01 Abatement by Owner - Duty

It shall be the duty of the owner, occupant or person otherwise having supervision or control of any lot, tract or parcel of land or portion thereof, or any building or portion thereof, whether occupied or unoccupied, improved or unimproved, on or in which any condition prohibited in Article II of this Chapter is found to exist, to remove or cause to be removed the prohibited nuisance at no cost to the City of Arlington. Failure to so remove or cause to be removed such a nuisance after notice to do so by said City shall constitute a misdemeanor.



I am trying to figure out how they can write me and the buyer a ticket for the same offense. Over the next couple of weeks I will transfer that property to a trust and make it difficult to find the owner. Should solve the problem in the future.



anybody else have problems like this?
 

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nvvhi

PARKED
Feb 8, 2008
4
0
9
We had also been to Arlingtons code Inforcement Court, due to a property that we had just sold when the tickets were written, they also was duplicate tickets written, Which through an attorney we had won our case. But in Money wise of course it had cost us to prove the house was no longer ours.

You may want to go without an attorney and try to settle with the cities attorney.
Hope this helps.

Regards,
Nvvhi
 

Russ H

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Jul 25, 2007
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Sheesh.

Trying to avoid this by listing as a Trust is like shooting your own foot. Over and over.

If your property is labeled as abandoned, or a maintenance problem, you will get:

-ticked off neighbors
-unhappy city officials
-VERY unhappy firefighters, police, and bldg dept code enforcement folks
-increased crime (neighborhoods that are well kept have lower crime levels, and houses that are unkempt are prime targets for vandalism)

For what? To save a few bucks?

Either make a lease/rental agreement where the "buyer" is responsible (and file eviction/foreclose on them if they don't do it), or raise the rents/assess them homeowner's fees, and pay for a service to keep up the property.

Having the property look like cr*p lowers property values, and makes you the enemy to the neighbors.

Fix it. That's why you're the owner.

And if you're not the owner of record, then walk away.

We buy houses-- CHEAP-- from sellers who put as little as possible into their props over 30 years. And as they're getting the big closing check, all of them (ALL of them!) have said to me, "Gee, I really should have kept the property up better. It would have been worth so much more."

Yeah, right.

Sellers tend to be one or the other:

They either look on their properties as long term investments, and take care of them.

Or, they look on them as cash machines, and try to suck as much cash out of them as possible (we call these folks "slum lords").

The kinds of tenants/"buyers" you get reflect what kind of landlord you are.

If this prop is truly in a slum, well, then go ahead do nothing.

Sorry for the tough love. You hit a nerve. :pissed:

-Russ H.
 
OP
OP
rcardin

rcardin

Contributor
Oct 30, 2007
512
46
32
Arlington, TX
Russ,
I am not a landlord in this case but a mortgage company. She has the agreement for deed but will not get the deed signed over until she fulfills her financial obligation. In this case 38 years from now unless she refinances.

I agree that I should make sure the property is being taken care of for all the reasons you listed. Had she been a regular tenant under a lease she would be gone! This house is in a decent neighborhood she is just not a very good owner/neighbor. She has received citations in the past.

When I went over the property was clean. they had a car in the driveway with a flat and it was considered a junked vehicle. She was given 10 days to fix the problems. She drove the car in the garage and put up a fence around where she puts the garbage on the side of the house till pick up day. The code enforcement lady came out and wrote another ticket because she could still see the car from the street. It was too long for the garage and the door wouldn't go down all the way.

I have no doubt that the property is not kept to the best of her abilities. She puts the trash outside and the dogs get into it. Unfortunately she didn't get around to cleaning it up in a timely manner.

In our AFD she has to pay for anything I would be out of pocket for so it won't cost me in the long run except for time.

MAINTENANCE: The Second Party will not permit, commit or suffer waste and will maintain the improvements at all times in a state of good repair and condition, and will not do or permit to be done anything to the premises that will in any way impair or weaken the security of the First Party's title. In case of the refusal, neglect or inability of the Second Party to repair and maintain said property, the First Party may, at the First Party's option, make such repairs or cause the same to be made, and advance money in that behalf, which sums advanced or costs of repairs shall be the obligation of the Second Party and shall accrue interest, until paid, at the highest rate allowable by law and be secured by this Agreement.

but legally who is the owner of the property?
 

Russ H

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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If you're on the deed, you're the owner.

Clean it up.

Or, foreclose on her for non-performance and THEN clean it up.

-Russ H.
 

PurEnergy

New Contributor
Jan 4, 2008
177
15
27
There should be language in your agreement that addresses this issue. Look at any standard deed of trust and you will find it there.

As for who owns the house...I would say in the eys of a judge...it depends. Your buyer has an equitable interest in the property. In this case you will probably be viewd as the big bad investor and the one responsible even though you are not the owner.

On the other hand, if it were a bank who held legal title, the person living in the house would most likely be held responsible. It's always the big guys picking on the little guy. Easy prey.

A lot of big corporations pick on the little guys. Whereas on the other hand us small business owners will usually bend over backwards to take care of our customers.

I know of a real estate investor (www.pushedtoshove.com) being sued for something like 20 million dollars by his states attorney general. I believe him to be an ethical investor. A one man show and the state AG is coming after him. I would think thier time and the peoples money would be better spent regulating banks or some other big corporation that beats up on an exponential amount of people. Sprint recently lost 680,000 wireless customers and I know exactly why. After five years of being thier customer they'll be losing my three phones in April.

Hopefully you've got some serious language in your agreement with the buyer. Depending on how serious this gets you should probably consult with an attorney. At least have an attorney send the buyer a letter right away.

If you haven't seen it yet, check out www.pushedtoshove.com
 
OP
OP
rcardin

rcardin

Contributor
Oct 30, 2007
512
46
32
Arlington, TX
UPDATE......I went to a pretrial hearing this morning. The prosecutor was hung up on the fact that agreement for deed is a future contract and I was still recorded on the deed. I showed him everything in the contract that showed that she has complete ownership rights but would not get the deed until the note to secure deed is paid in full. Still didn't like it. It threw him off that there was also a lease on the property attached to the AFD. I explained in the contract that if my buyer defaults it reverts to a lease situation so that I can evict rather than foreclose. When I showed him 2 years of 1099 mortgage interest statements allowing her the right to write them off on her taxes he had to ask an associate for advice. He came back and dismissed all of the citations based on the fact that I had a contract and she got the 1099 mortgage statement. I set a precedent now that should solve all future problems with anybody I put in an agreement for deed.

It sure is nice to win in one of these situations every now and then. I was facing close to 1k in fines. Iron clad contracts and good record keeping saved me today.
 

Runum

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Good job man!:banana:
 

Russ H

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rcardin-

I'm impressed. I've known a few guys in similar situations (lease to own buyers or similar), and they did not get the same treatment from the judge.

In their cases (in CA), since they were the owner of record on the deed, they were responsible.

Rep speed to you for sticking to your guns in the real world, and winning! :smx9:

Now, hopefully, you will either (a) get your property back, or (b) she will clean her act up.

I'd hate to have (c) She continues to p*ss off the neighbors and code enforcement.

Keep us updated, if you can.

-Russ H.
 

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OP
OP
rcardin

rcardin

Contributor
Oct 30, 2007
512
46
32
Arlington, TX
Since it did cost her 177.00 for the trash in the yard I'm hoping she will take better care of the property. She may not be the model tenant/buyer but she does pay her bill on time. 10 more years and the house is payed off.
 

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