Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Let's jail owners of abandon property

If it has never happen to you and your neighbors, imagine for a moment.  You have a great house in what you thought was a good neighborhood.  Then, the owners of two houses on the block stop making repairs to their homes.  Maybe there were rental properties that went vacant because of the leaky roof or the electrical problems that haven’t been repaired.  Brush piles up, the pool in the back yard fills with swampy water creating a hazard for kids in the area, not to mention the mosquitoes.

After many violation tickets and years of issues, the property still doesn’t get fixed. 

According to a study by the University of Michigan, in Flint and other areas around the state, the value of a home in a neighborhood drops by 10% for every blighted house.  Not just on your block, but in a two block radius. 
A law proposed by Senator Virgil Smith that is getting some attention in Lansing would help with that problem.  Property owners that don’t care of their property could be jailed for a second offense.  It could be a year in the slammer for a third offense.   It would also speed up the process of placing liens on properties and prevent land owners with liens of obtaining building permits on other property.

People have the right to own property.  But, with any right, there comes responsibility.  When any right is exercised, as in purchasing property, the responsibility takes effect.  Property owners that don’t take care of their property, endanger the safety of people in the community and have a detrimental effect on the value of other property need to eventually lose their right to own property. 
This is a bigger problem than someone losing their job and not being able to take care of their property.  There are solutions to issues like that.  This issue is focused on properties owners that own multi properties and are abusing their right.  This is focused on banks that take over foreclosed property and don’t maintain them.

These bills in Lansing need the support of the community.  If we are to maintain our living environment, everyone needs to live up to their responsibility.  If not, they lose their rights. 
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