House Bill 187
149th General Assembly (2017 - 2018)
The General Assembly has ended, the current status is the final status.
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 9 AND 22 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SHERIFF'S SALES.
With the implementation of land banks in the State of Delaware, an increasing number of vacant and abandoned properties will be brought to sheriff’s sales. Many of these parcels will be dilapidated and require investment to render the house habitable. Blight will only be ameliorated if the bidders upon such property acquire it intending to invest in the property, thereby improving the housing in the neighborhood and eliminating blight. If bidders at a tax lien sale have failed to pay taxes when due and have failed to maintain the condition of other real property they own in the same jurisdiction, it is not likely that they intend to invest in and improve the condition of additional property they acquire. Instead they are speculating on a turnaround in the neighborhood based upon the investment and efforts of others. Under current law, New Castle County, or any municipal government, may disapprove of the winning bid for any tax lien sheriff’s sale, at the election of the governmental entity initiating the tax lien sale, for any public purpose or reason. This bill allows any county or municipality to additionally require that bidders at such tax lien sales certify, prior to bidding, that they do not have a record of failing to maintain other real property in which they own an interest, do not have outstanding liens owed to governmental entities in excess of $1,000 at such other property, and do not hold properties that have been vacant for 18 consecutive months unless there is active construction on the property.