We’ve written before about cities going after mortgage lenders for failing to properly maintain homes on which they have foreclosed, but one Massachusetts city has decided it’s just easier to fix up these properties, rather than have them fall into disrepair and drag neighborhood home prices down with them.
Earlier this year, the city of Brockton began keeping a registry of abandoned homes. So far, it has around 250 homes in the registry, though the city estimates the total number of abandoned homes is closer to 1,000.
The owners of these properties — banks and other mortgage lenders in most cases — pay an annual fee of $150 into the fund. If the property remains abandoned after 3 years, that number goes up to $1,500.
This gets the banks out of the business of trying to find someone to dependably maintain a property — something many institutions haven’t exactly done a blockbuster job of in recent years. It also allows the city to know that if a registered property falls into disrepair, it only has itself to blame.
And now when someone who lives next door to one of these properties sees the grass growing too high or a dangling rain gutter, they know they can call up the city rather than trying to track down the mortgage lender who likely won’t deal with them since they aren’t a customer.