Selling-stuff, Other/Just Looking in Allen County, IN

How to release ownership of house?

Asked by Selling-stuff, Allen County, IN Thu Jun 24, 2010

I obtained a home via a Tax Sale. I was investing with the intent of the return on the late tax penalty - not to get the property. Regardless, the property did not redeem, so I got a Tax Deed to the property. (No Mortgages)

Shortly after getting the Tax Deed, the City Building Code Department placed an Order to Demolish the house (it is fairly run down, and I guess enough complaints have come in regarding it). Per the notice, the order is because the house has been deemed "unsafe"

I tried to work with the Building Code folks to get the demo order dropped, but they are totally unreasonable about what needs to be fixed (one thing was to paint siding!?!)

Anyways, the Building Code claims they are going to tear it down, and as the owner, I will owe the amount for the demo. I'm not sure if this will be a lien on the property or a judgment against me.

I just want out and to not have to put anymore money in. Can I "release" ownership of this property in any way? How can I get out?

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Tish Lloyd, Agent, Wilmington, NC
Thu Jun 24, 2010
The first thought is: get yourself quickly to an attorney. This, of course, will incur more out-of-pocket expense for you. Perhaps a phone call to the County/City Attorney and to the pertinent member of the Board of Supervisors, County/City Director.

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.
2 votes
Selling-stuff, , Allen County, IN
Thu Jun 24, 2010
Some more info...

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
- etc.

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.
0 votes
James Gordon…, Agent, Hamilton, OH
Thu Jun 24, 2010
Selling you just made a good piont about buying properties at tax sale. You need to talk to a real estate atorney quickly. Maybe if you take care of the code violations and start to rehab the property the demo order will be dropped but with no action on your part the city will not slow down.
0 votes
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