Anyone with experience dealing with a property declared a public nuisance in Cincinnati?

3 Replies

Hi all,

I'm looking at a property owned by a group that does bulk purchases of distressed properties. This particular one has gone down the code enforcement road to the point where it's been declared a public nuisance and is slated for demolition. However, while the property is in poor shape, it could be renovated successfully (if purchased at the right price, needless to say.)

However, once it's been declared a public nuisance and ordered demolished, it's no longer able to be taken off the demolition list simply by making arrangements with the building inspectors. Instead, it has to go through a judicial process. Has anyone had success with that in Cincinnati and if so, what sort of costs did it entail? The inspector I spoke with was rather circumspect, which is appropriate given that he's not in a position to give out legal advice, but he did leave the impression that it's doable.

Hi Ben,

I have never gone through the entire process because I have not found one that was worth the time and effort; however, from how close I have come I was told  you will need to get a bond to stop demo. Did the inspector give you the bond amount? Also, did he walk you through the vacant building maintenance license fees and process of submitting a proposal to have them waived during construction? So I guess what I am essentially saying is the answer to your question is property dependent - find out the bond amount, the vacant building maintenance fees attached to it. (and anything else that could be following it, like taxes, etc.) 

Hi Lexi,

Thanks for your answer! I went downtown and spoke with the inspector the end of last week; he couldn't give an exact amount for the bond since they hadn't gotten a bid yet, but he ballparked $8-10K. We discussed the VBML process, though I think I'll see if I can sit down with Ed Cunningham so I can get the details and fees for the waiver. While I was told that the bond would be returned once the building was no longer a public nuisance and slated for demo, it'd be nice to have the specifics on that.

I agree that most aren't worth the trouble and expense once they get to this point. This one may be viable (depending on if the seller will take next to nothing for it), given that the building isn't in awful shape - much of the process has been driven by neighbors justifiably upset at the neglect of the property. It was foreclosed on via tax lien, so the taxes currently due are manageable. On the other hand, the headache and time involved in dealing with the bureaucratic hurdles involved in redeeming the property may make it not worth the hassle.

I also need to see what other assessments may be attached, such as those for boarding up, public services mowing, etc.

Thanks again!

@Ben Skove This may have been a property specific situation because I was dealing with a historic building with years of defaults and VBML - but the inspector I was dealing with discussed 'dropping' those for me if I wrote a proposal. He said you had 2 years to complete the proposed work. However, you did have to make this proposal to the city to get the $ dropped. If you get far into it, you might want to ask about that, depending on how bad your fines are. Good luck! If you don't mind keep me posted on this if you go through with it. 

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