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City Criminal Housing Violation

by | May 14, 2024 | Litigation

Hi, everyone. This is attorney Hunter Cavell from Cleveland, Ohio. Today I want to talk about criminal housing violations. Now, a lot of people don’t realize that every city has a different housing code, building code violations.

And I’m seeing a huge uptick in new cases coming out, and many of these cases are against companies. So a lot of people want to open a company or invest in Cleveland properties. There are certain things you have to do to make sure everything’s taken care of and is fine, such as keeping the grass cut, keeping the trash out if you’re rehabbing a property immediately, pulling permits, especially if there’s something that may make the building a nuisance, such as windows being broken, locks destroyed, or if the house is about to be condemned. Now, there are severe fines and penalties that go on every day. Every day is a new penalty, and some of these can be as high as $5,000 per structure.

So let’s say there’s a house and agarage on your property, and they both need to be condemned. Well, the city can say you’re out of compliance and you’ve been told to fix the property and haven’t yet and haven’t pulled the permits, and they can start assessing your company $5,000 a day for each one. So that could be $10,000 a day, which, if you’re out of compliance for the better part of a year, could be $3 million, which, if you have multiple properties in the city, you need to make sure you’re in compliance.

Another way people may get in trouble is every company that owns property in certain cities, such as the city of Cleveland, must be registered with the secretary of state. That means if you’re an out-of-state company and investing in it, you need to be registered as a foreign entity to do business in Ohio. Otherwise, this is yet also a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 a day. Now, typically, people will find out about this by either getting a ticket or a summons and complaint in the mail, which makes them come in for what’s called, typically, a Zoom hearing.

And now, if you’re a company and not a person, you must hire an attorney such as myself to handle this. Like I said, I’ve seen an uptick in these. These cases aren’t going away. It looks like the city of Cleveland is prosecuting more. I don’t know if they have a higher staff or if this problem just seems to be multiplying. But anyway, as soon as you get that summons and complaint, you need to contact an attorney, feel free to contact me at (440) 940-6441 or and I’m happy to take a look. And if I can help you out, I will. Thank you and have a good day.