In San Diego, if enough of the neighbors think your house is a problem you could end up in court facing nuisance property charges and small-claims actions of as much as $7,500 per individual involved in the suit. That is just what happened to one property owner who now stands to settle a huge judgment and lose his property if he does not pay his property tax bills. Through Safe Streets Now, a program designed to help residents clean up their own neighborhoods by filing joint petitions for “legal relief against nuisance properties,” 18 plaintiffs and one district councilwoman built a case against a neighborhood residence. Complaints included “a revolving door of tenants,” violations of municipal codes and the property being an eyesore.
The judgment was for $136,000 and brought the property to the attention of tax authorities who have committed to sell the property at the March 18, 2011 tax sale if the owner does not pay nearly $6,000 in unpaid property taxes. A related raid on the property yielded drugs and several criminal charges and parole violations along with three arrests. Officials do not expect any trouble selling the property at auction since it is located in a “prime La Jolla neighborhood” where “typically, the price of such homes escalates dramatically,” said local chief of staff for Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, John Weil.
Do you think that the Safe Streets Now program was a good way to deal with this homeowner and his nuisance property?
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