Courtesy of The Tampa Bay Times
January 9, 2015
Hillsborough County commissioners voted Wednesday to require registration of abandoned townhomes and condominiums in hopes of keeping neighborhoods clean and well maintained.
The county created the abandoned property registry in 2009 when there was a surge of vacant, neglected and unkempt homes as a result of the housing market bust. It required all properties that were in the process of foreclosure to be registered.
Wednesday's move expanded that registry to include townhouses, condos and similar units.
"It allows us to at least find out if any mortgage company or lender has an interest in the property," division director of code enforcement Jim Blinck said. "Then we can contact them and see if we can convince them to take control over it. If not, then we're dealing with different owners of the complex."
Approximately 32,800 properties are currently listed on the registry, but Blinck expects that about 10 percent to 15 percent of townhomes and condominiums are in default. Using the numbers on the 2014 tax roll, that would add at least another 4,200 properties to the registry. There is a $200 registration fee per property.
The registry allows code enforcement officials to address problems around properties that aren't maintained, Blinck said.