Can the city take my money? - Posted by Kenneth G. Stevenson
Posted by Kenneth G. Stevenson on March 14, 2006 at 13:49:49:
I have been investing in real estate in North Carolina for about 8 years. I started out buying stuff that I had to totally renovate. I’m trying to get away from that, but I still have a couple to finish. The city (Henderson) has started this big kick to clean up dilapidated houses by pushing them down. I bought two house that had already caught on fire with the intentions of remodeling and renting or selling them. There was an issue with some sewer lines that the city needed to run in between the two properties, so I waited until they were done, then I applied for and received my buiding permits. I didn’t move as fast as the city would have liked me to, so they sent me a letter saying that I was violating the abandoned structure ordinance and had 90 days to rectify the situation. Of course I couldn’t remodel 2 burnt houses in 90 days so they had a council meeting to discuss pushing down my houses. I had already gutted both houses, kept the yards clean and replaced both roofs. On one house I had done all of the framing and exterior sheathing. To make a long story short they gave me a 150 day stay to finish the properties, but then sent me a letter stating I was going to have to pay civil penalties. I immediately informed them of my wish to appeal the penalties, and they set a hearing date. One week after the hearing was over I got a letter from the assistant city manager saying that as long as I was in compliance with the stay, that they would hold all penalties in abeyance, but I that I would be responsible for the penalties ($1,380) from the date of their letter to me until the date of my appeal. This makes no sense to me. Does anyone have any experience with this or can anyone offer any suggestions as to what my next step should be?