Toledo vacant house proposal calls for registration, fee

Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner plans to introduce
legislation to City Council calling for the creation of a vacant
residential building registration.

The legislation would require registration and fees for each vacant residential structure in the city.

No votes yet

that requires a home which is left vacant for 45 days to be tagged as such, thereby giving vandals and thieves a "green light" that nobody's home so they may steal from the premise or squat on the property? I currently have a home next door which is in foreclosure. The bank will not cut the grass so I do to avoid the appearance that no ones at home. I have notified the TPD of this home so that they may do more frequent patrols to hopefully ward off the unscrupulous who wish to skin the home of its aluminum siding. If this proposal passes will it void my efforts to provide this house with a sense of occupancy and open it up to thieves who will vandalize it and degrade my property values as well?


- Just the KAT, thinking out loud again.

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth. ~Japanese Proverb

Why do you cut the grass? Isn't a bank equally liable under the local nuisance statute? Find out the grass-length standard, measure it on that yard (which you can do from the public sidewalk), and once it is out of spec, file a nuisance complaint.

Are we expecting BANKS to be let off the hook with the properties they claim to own?

but if I don't mow the lawn it seems as if no one else will. I have contacted the bank on record according to AREIS (HSBC Mortgage Services). It seems that the house is only in pre-foreclosure therefore the previous owners are still on record even though they have moved out. They came back and dug up all the landscaping though. With them out of the house and word on the street that this home is empty I only believe it a matter of time till the siding is gone and the home burns to the ground because some crack-head decides to take up residence. Till then all I can do is try to establish the impression that someone actually lives there and hope for the best.


I wonder if I can charge HSBC for the cost of cuttinmg the lawn?__________________________________________

- Just the KAT, thinking out loud again.

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth. ~Japanese Proverb

Kat, we have the same thing in our neighborhood. The asshat neighbors across the street lost their house, moved out and abandoned their (at least) three cats. The neighbors on either side of the house have been taking turns mowing the lawn in an effort to keep their own properties looking decent.

However, one of them was told if anyone from the city sees them doing it, they can be cited for trespassing?? I have no idea if it's true or not; it's just what they were told. And it's not going to stop them from trying to make the house look cared for.

If the city won't be dutiful with the foreclosed losers and the loser lender, then I wouldn't worry about them being dutiful with chasing YOU.

After all, if it's a problem of "he said, she saw", just deny it and tell the city through a responsive court action that they must PROVE it was you doing it. The neighbor fucko that called the Gestapo on you won't appear in court since on average they are too cowardly in the first place (hence, the phone call they placed initially, instead of walking out and confronting YOU). No credible witnessing = no crime committed. Case dismissed. Then I'd go back to the house IMMEDIATELY and continue putting up plywood.

We're not slaves or subjects. We are naturally empowered to act in our own best interest, and that's DOUBLY true when that interest is not being taken care of by a government that is statutorily mandated to do it.

(A similar thing well applies to SELF DEFENSE. You don't have to wait for a cop to assist you. Remain armed and defend yourself when necessary. If the state is going to do little to nothing to stop street crime, then YOU must stop it.)

How does the city know, which homeowner is in default and leaving the house?


If the home is not maintained, contact the Neighborhoods Department and lodge a complaint.


They have crews that go out and mow and clean up lots and bill the landowner.


The city should know which homeDEBTor is at fault since a default means no property taxes will be paid within a 6mo period. True, that means 3 to 6 months of no occupancy, but as soon as the check doesn't arrive, it's a simple database check to accomplish a list of properties that the city should check for occupancy.

And BTW, please stop using the term "homeowner". Those people don't own SHIT but a massive debt they can't pay off. If you actually OWN something then it only stands to reason that you can't "default" out of it. The proper term for one of these high-LTV weenies is HOMEDEBTOR.

So will the city be billing itself for all the vacant properties it owns?

Thats an excellent question. I'd love to hear how Carty would end up spinning that one.

Of course its not the "city" but the taxpayers who are footing that bill either way it goes.

...and walked away from a house I owned, what makes the city think I could afford $100.00 for the privladge of listing my abandoned property with them?


Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

The fee is just another way to create a financial pressure that gives the city the right in a later court action to take the property. At the very least, the fee becomes an interest-accumulating lien that can be recovered upon private property action. The latter is a pure revenue-generation tactic.

"The proposed law, which will be reviewed by council's community and neighborhood development committee, comes from the Toledo Housing Task Force, created by the mayor in 2006 to develop policies to improve the city's housing stock.

"We don't want to be unreasonable for people trying to make a good-faith effort to sell or rent," Mr. Finkbeiner said. "Exceptions will be made for these properties as well as those that are in probate."

Councilman Joe McNamara supports the mayor's proposal.

"This is about protecting our housing stock," Mr. McNamara said.

The mayor said city inspectors would not travel the streets looking for vacant or boarded-up houses. Instead, the city would rely on neighbors and the community development corporations.

Toledo's Housing Commissioner Michael Badik said the city does not know the number of vacant homes."

Two of them have been broken into, vandalized, and left open to the elements. I suggested to a couple of my neighbors that we band together to buy materials to board up the place. They complain about it, but don't feel it is their responsibility. They feel it is the responsibility of whatever branch of government they pay taxes to for this basic enforcement and maintenance of their neighborhood.

The one fear that all express who live next to these properties is that some vandal, or vagrant might start a fire, and burn their home next door down.

I have brought up mowing and weeding one of the properties, but a couple of my neighbors (for whom I mow lawns) asks why I would take that upon myself for free, and then do theirs for a fee? I have written the owner of one property (who lives in Illinois) but she wasn't interested in hiring my services. The other property (which I used to maintain for $10/hour) has been taken over by GMAC (as mortgager), and they have hired a professional lawn service at $120/hour. And I hear the city will maintain vacant properties for a fee of about $120 for a mowing job.

Happlly, these properties aren't by mine but at the end of the block. I only have to listen to complaints, and see an eyesore occasionally. I do try to keep the neighbors on either side of me happy (I would rather deal with them than the low-lifes that would probably come into the properties after they leave). It isn't that hard. I ignore the one except for an occasional hello, and run the errands for the other that allow her to stay in her home (take her shopping every two weeks so she can get out of her house and I eat lunch with her (her treat), call her everytime I go shopping so I can keep her in stock for things in between, mow her lawn [I never ask but she always pays], shovel her snow, take out her garbage and recycling,and do "handyman" things that allow her to live unassisted).

She often says that she couldn't stay there without my help. But I do it in my "selfish" self-interest. I prefer her kind of neighborliness (she always sends us oatmeal cookies when she makes some) to that of a young 20-something puking on the sidewalk after a "good time" in the early morning. Or a young couple fighting because her "true love" has found another piece of tail. I am a fairly patient man, but my life is moving too swiftly to deal with that kind of crap anymore. That's for the younger generation.

Old South End Broadway

OSEB said: «They feel it is the responsibility of whatever branch of government they pay taxes to for this basic enforcement and maintenance of their neighborhood.»

That's an odd viewpoint, since they should have FIRST voted in politicians who are so dutiful to their viewpoint in the first place. But Czarty and Ford were NOT THAT. The current pack of city councilmen are not much better.

Do you bring up such things in conversation with them? Do you note that Czarty is more concerned about signs and lights and flowers than with infrastructural maintenance?

...but the problem is that they believe in a system that no longer exists. One woman came of age (started working for various branches of government after high school graduation), and believes Franklin Roosevelt was a good President. Different than the view held today. The other turned 18 in 1945, married, divorced, and went to work in the downtown stores until she met a man who she calls "her gentleman", and married him. Both believe in a form of government that doesn't exist anymore. Either it tries to do too much (the Democratic Party) or tells us to do it all ourselves (the Republican Party). They see their youth through rose-tinted glasses (maybe all old people do), and wonder why the country has gone to hell.

Old South End Broadway

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