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New rules in play for PTC vacant homes

With Peachtree City not immune to the national housing crisis and some homes going vacant for months on end, the city is preparing a way to keep track of such homes.

Under a proposal from city staff, the city would gain the ability to closely monitor the homes, in some cases being authorized to make interior inspections to make sure the building remains intact.

The goal is to prevent vandalism, theft and other illegal activity, said interim Community Development Director David Rast.

The location of homes declared vacant under the ordinance would also be shared with the police and fire departments, Rast said.

Under the proposed ordinance, homes that are vacant for more than six months could be declared vacant by the city, and the registered owner would be responsible for paying a fee to cover the cost of inspections, Rast said. The fee has not yet been determined and council has not yet adopted the proposed ordinance.

The ordinance would have several exceptions for homes; for example, they may be allowed to be marketed for sale for up to 12 months before being declared vacant and added to the city’s vacant home registry, Rast said.

Rast said he thought the fees should be comparable to the city’s building inspection fees.

“We are not fully aware of the time it may take to enforce this,” Rast said.

There are signs some homes are vacant in the city, including overgrown or dead vegetation and an accumulation of newspapers in the driveway, Rast said. The city also gets solid information from utility companies when service is disconnected to a home, he added.
City Councilwoman and local Realtor Vanessa Fleisch said there are some foreclosed homes in the city which have broken windows and kids have gotten into.

“In some older neighborhoods, it’s happening,” Fleisch said.

Councilman Doug Sturbaum said he thinks the new vacant home rules would help residents protect their property values.



Robert W. Morgan's picture

This sure sounds like trying to find Development Services something to do for the next 3 years - yes, 3 years of bad times in the housing business is almost certain. 10% unemployment on the way to 15%. What else can happen?

Fining owners of vacant homes whether that owner is a financially strapped family facing foreclosure or a bank who has already foreclosed is a non-starter. The families don't have he money and the bank will ignore the fines and you can't impose them on the eventual purchaser or hold up the bank's sale.
If you really want to do something, have public works cut the grass (might be able to backcharge the owner for an actual service) and have the police be visible around these houses.

In these troubled times, only the Realtor is making out financially, so if you must fine somebody - go after them. Ms. Fleisch may not like that one, but good old Imker will like it. If 2 more on council do, you are good to go. $50 a day for violations sounds about right.

Live free or die!

I don't think that our tax money should go to paying for the upkeep of the yards of the abandoned homes. However, I do believe that the home owners need to be held accountable for keeping them up or need to face a fine for not. It's not the neighborhoods fault or responsibility to keep their yards looking decent, but we don't want our neighborhoods to look bad either! Can you tell that I've had to deal with this recently???

So you think the foreclosed, broke, former owner should be fined or come back and mow the yard? good luck with that!
House belongs to the bank. Ask them to mow it.

Can't you think just a little? Maybe you could mow it and help out someone broke?

Bonkers, ever heard of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY??? Whoever owns the property should be RESPONSIBLE for the upkeep and keeping in compliance with county/city ordinances. I don't care if the bank owns it or someone just moved to a new home and can't sell it. YES, they should come back and mow their own lawn!

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