House Bill 188
149th General Assembly (2017 - 2018)
The General Assembly has ended, the current status is the final status.
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 9 AND 25 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO LIENS OF POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS AND MUNICIPALITIES.
Criminal and administrative enforcement of laws and ordinances relating to the condition of real property and abatement of violations thereof is a significant expense of local governments. The growing number of vacant and abandoned properties has increased these costs to local governments. The owners of vacant and abandoned property routinely fail to respond to the issuance of violation notices, citations, and tickets. Thus, the local government, at taxpayer expense, is left to maintain the property in a condition that will protect the public health, safety and welfare and minimize the deleterious effect the unmaintained property has on the local community. When a property owner fails or refuses to maintain real property according to minimum code standards, the costs incurred by local government for enforcing its codes and abating violations thereof, should be borne by the property owner rather than the taxpayers. Thus, this bill is intended to clarify that costs associated with enforcement of local laws and ordinances relating to the condition of real property and abatement of violations of those laws and ordinances shall be a lien against the property subject to the enforcement action. Recoupment of costs associated with the enforcement of building, property maintenance, zoning, drainage, sewer, housing, or sanitation codes is a lengthy and expensive process for local governments. This bill clarifies that local governments may include the amount of the lien on the local tax billing of the property subject to the enforcement action may collect the lien in the same manner as other property taxes.