In this instance, because of the short fuse and financial impact, I'd start at the top and work down. Contact someone at your local paper and try to enlist some media coverage.
Perhaps the attorney who settled the transaction might be a start.
One of the big problems is that the city claims the building is unsafe and that is the reason for the demo order, but then they give me a list of all kinds of non-"safety"-related things that need to be corrected. I met with the Building Code Inspector and his Supervisor, and they started listing things:
- Fix roof problems
- Clean up property (debris, glass, etc)
- Repair/replace broken windows
- Paint siding
- Fix glazing on windows
- Fix unsecure shed door
Some I agreed with and understood, but once they started mentioning things like that I had to paint, fix window glazing, and fix a broken hinge on a shed, I knew this was going to be a never-ending list. And, what do those have to do with safety? Plus they wouldn't put anything in writing - so I risked fixing these things and them still tearing it down. So, I'm hesitant to go the "fix-it" route. I'd rather go the "get-out" route. But, is that possible?
I had investors that were interested in buying the property to rehab, but they wouldn't touch it until the demo order was dropped.
Once they demo the house, the lot is worthless - maybe worth a thousand dollars. But, with the house, it has potential to be worth like $30-40k. It maybe needs $15k of repair - that I don't have.
Yes - very painful lesson in tax lien investing thus far. If I have to pay for the demo ($3-5k more on top of what I paid for the lien) - then I'll own a vacant lot work 10% of what I put into it.