Abandoned/Vacant Real Property Registration and Certification Ordinance
In response to recent events in the housing market which have led to a drastic rise in the number of foreclosed homes located within unincorporated Broward County, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners approved Ordinance 2009-80: The Abandoned/Vacant Real Property Registration and Certification Program on December 8, 2009. This ordinance serves to protect the unincorporated residential neighborhoods from becoming blighted through the lack of adequate maintenance and security of abandoned and vacant properties.
The Abandoned/Vacant Real Property Registration and Certification Program requires mortgage lenders to inspect defaulted, residential properties to confirm that they are occupied. If a property is found to be vacant, the program requires that the lender exercise the abandonment clause within their mortgage contract, register the property with the county, along with the $150.00 registration fee within 10 days and immediately begin to secure and maintain the property to program standards. Failure to properly register required properties may subject the mortgagee to the minimum civil penalty of $250.00 for the first offense. Subsequent violation may be subject to a minimum penalty of $500.00. Additional citations may be issued for failure to maintain and secure abandoned and vacant properties.
The inspections and certification portion of this program offers some protection for purchasers of foreclosed residential properties in the unincorporated areas of Broward County by requiring all title holders of these properties which are acquired through a Certificate of Title (Foreclosures and Judgments), in accordance with Chapter 45, Florida State Statutes or under a deed in lieu of foreclosure/sale to obtain a Certificate of Foreclosure Inspection prior to offering the property for sale, transfer, or other alienation. This requirement allows for the performance of a cursory visual inspection of the property and an inspection report by a code enforcement officer to provide a disclosure of any non-compliance with property maintenance codes, outstanding county liens and/or special assessments encumbering the property, and to identify any outstanding building permits.
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