We all know THAT house. The one on the block that usually has an old broken-down car in the driveway (or right there in the grass), broken and rusting appliances smack-dab in the middle of the yard which is covered with towering grass and weeds, hiding god-knows-what else.
You can probably bet that THAT house has a code enforcement violation or two.
Code violations aren't always recorded in the public record, but they can still lead to unrecorded property debt or liens for a potential buyer.
Here are 3 extreme cases where the code enforcement violations have racked up so much debt, it's unbelievable. We just wanted to show you how this kind of stuff can really pile up. (Pun intended.) (Note: Most of these happen to be in the Tampa Bay area, but we're not saying it's worse there than anywhere else.)
A veteran in Seffner, Fl has accumulated over $250,000 in code enforcement fines due to his "business." His front yard looks like a salvage yard and claims to give people "good deals" on the items strewn across the lawn. His neighbors are fed up with the eyesore, saying that is now a safety hazard. The county agrees and has arrested him for felony dumping: (READ MORE)
2.) $4 Million
A landlord in Tampa owes Hillsborough County roughly $4 million in fines after letting 40 of his rental homes fall into disrepair. The Hillsborough County Code Enforcement has changed its tactics in order to seek compliance from egregious code violators like this by sending them before a criminal judge instead of the code board: (READ MORE)
3.) $11.1 Million
This jaw-dropping, outrageous amount was racked up on a property owned by a man in Pinellas County over the course of 26 years. All the debris in the yard couldn't fit in a 20-cubic-yard dumpster. (READ MORE)
These are extreme cases. But we have done a municipal lien search on a property that had more than $500,000 in fines from Code Enforcement Violations. (We're sure the buyer was very thankful to find this information out before it became their responsibility.)
While code enforcement departments can't realistically expect to recoup $11 million , it's a lot more common to see a property with a couple thousand in fines, and local governments have every right to expect a new owner to pay it.