Today I want to talk about how to find property with code violations in your area, and I’ve actually made a video on the exact process in my area.
Do you know what the best thing is about a code violations list? You can often get this information without spending a dime. This is one of those lists that is almost always sourced locally. And, in many areas, all you have to do is hop on Google and do a search to find the information.
Getting the List in My Area
I remember a time several years ago when I had to really do some detective work to find this list. It wasn’t easy to find. Students have told me that they have had a similar experiences recently in their city. They spoke with someone at their local code enforcement officer who refused to give them any information on where they could find the code violations list. Well folks, this is a great list so keep digging until you find it. Like I said, Google is definitely your friend.
How Does Someone End up on the Code Violation List?
People can end up on this list for a variety of reasons, but typically it’s due to one of two reasons. It’s either financial reasons or lazy landlords that just don’t take care of their property. Sometimes the owner just cannot afford to do the needed repairs, so the condition of the property deteriorates. What happens next is the property owner gets sited for these maintenance issues.
Initially, they might just get a warning with a specific amount of time to cure the problem. However, if the issue isn’t corrected during the specified time, the property owner will get a fine. When the problem isn’t corrected and the fine is ignored, code enforcement will continue to add additional fines which can quickly add up. If these fines aren’t paid, eventually they will put a lien on your property. These liens will have to be paid before the property can be sold.
I have bought properties over the years that had these types of liens on the property. As I said before, there are some property owners that not only can’t afford to do the repairs, but they also can’t pay the fines assessed for the property. This often adds one more layer of motivation to sell the property at a discount to an investor.
Tenants and Landlords
Landlords generally fall into one of two categories; those that take care of their property to protect their investment, and those that let their properties fall into a state of disrepair. Landlords that don’t take care of their property tend to attract less-desirable tenants.
The quality of your rental determines the quality of your tenant.
There is another reason a rental property might have code violations that has nothing to do with the property owner, and that is the tenant. The tenant’s actions may cause the owner of the property to be cited. This can be due to junk in the yard, tall grass, weeds along fence lines, house numbers that are missing, and vehicles parked in the yard just to name a few things.
Understanding the Information on the Site
Once you have figured out how to get the code violations list for your area, what information are you likely to find on the typical code violation site? Here are a few things you might see:
- Code Enforcement Board Case
- Property Maintenance Case
- Property Maintenance Demolition
- Property Maintenance Foreclosure
- Property Site Visit
- Public Nuisance
Each area of the country will be a little different. What you are looking for are property owners that have been cited and/or fined for a maintenance problem.
Here's Your Video
Do a search today to find out how to get a list of properties with code violations in your area. You only need to get a few properties each year to make this a worthwhile strategy to add to your investor’s toolbox.
You can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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