This is one of my favorites. I l used to love hanging out at code violations.
Let’s say a homeowner or a tenant lets the weeds get too high at their property, or maybe they’ve got a couple of old tires in their yard because they didn’t want to worry about getting rid of them. Well, the city’s code violation guys drive around, they see it, and then they give a warning. If the owner or tenant still does nothing, they’re going to have a zone violation.
Then, the fun begins… you have to go to a fake court with a fake judge. It’s someone they call an administrative judge. It’s often someone with a big ego who gets to act like a judge and make pronouncements and things (Sorry, I’ve been there too many times).
What happens is that the owner gets fined for their zone violation. The worst situation is if he’s a landlord, and the tenants got the notice for the violations and the owner never even knew. It’s happened to me, and it’s frustrating as anything.
In West Valley (near Salt Lake), the fine is $1,000 per day… sometimes these things get up to $100k or more! And by the way, in this county, they don’t have to prove they even sent me the notification—no certified mail or anything. It’s crazy.
And now I, as the landlord, leave the courthouse pissed and heated because I just got fined big time for something ridiculous that I didn’t even know about.
Now, I’ve been on both sides of this things… the one leaving, and the one standing outside spotting an opportunity to scoop up a property. You approach these owners leaving the courthouse, and you’ve found someone with motivation to sell a property.
Or, this could just be a homeowner who had something happen—like say a tree fell on their house—and they don’t have the money to fix it. They get zoning violations and that’s more stuff they can’t pay. You’re the solution to their problems.