Property Maintenance Case Update

A property maintenance case that has been pending for more than two years has finally reached a resolution in favor of the City. In August 2017, a City Property Maintenance Inspector discovered significant structural damage of the foundation and walls in a rental home, among other issues. After several letters to the property owners and property re-inspections failed to resolve the violations, the City filed this case in court in April 2018. The penalty for a violation of the property maintenance code is a fine of up to $750 per day, per violation, and structural damages mean that the property must be vacant and uninhabited until the violations are resolved.

In May 2019, the Legal Department helped negotiate an agreement with the property owners that all repair work would be completed on the rental home by the end of August 2019. If all the work was completed, no fines would be imposed and the case would be closed. This agreement was approved by the Judge and entered as an order of the court. However, subsequent inspections by the City showed that little to no work was ever completed by the owners, even after allowing for multiple extensions of time to correct the issues. On July 13, 2020, Legal department staff appeared in court on a motion to vacate the agreement, due to the owner’s failure to follow the repair timeline. The Judge agreed with the City and entered a judgment of fines in the amount of $65,000 in favor of the City.