Proposed rule would halt selling of Miami-Dade houses out of code
By Risa Polansky
Miami-Dade home sellers, including banks unloading foreclosed properties, would have to show the dwellings are up to code before transferring ownership, an ordinance under county review says.
The proposal by Commissioner Natacha Seijas is aimed at protecting buyers from surprise costs during a period in which properties are being bought and sold under distressed conditions. The measure received approval from the Governmental Operations and Environment Committee this month.
Commissioners also OK'd at the meeting another proposal that, if passed by the full commission, would make anyone who filed to foreclose on a mortgaged home responsible for upkeep of the property.
It would also require registering with the county all single-family units under foreclosure action.
The measure is a joint effort of commissioners Seijas and Carlos Gimenez.
The code compliance law would forbid sale of any residence until the homeowner named on the title obtained a certificate of use from the county.
The certificate would serve to determine that the residence complies with applicable building and zoning codes.
The idea is to protect unknowing buyers from inheriting costly code enforcement problems.
Code violations should not be buyers' responsibility, Ms. Seijas said at the meeting.
The other measure, which would force lenders to maintain their foreclosed-upon properties, comes from a similar school of thought.
"If you hold the title, you're responsible to maintain the property," Ms. Seijas said.
Co-sponsor Mr. Gimenez said the measure should help whole neighborhoods.
"The reasoning," he said, "is so that, as we have more and more foreclosed properties, those properties don't denigrate the neighborhood."