Five Key Factors for Successful Vacant Lot Code ManagementWednesday, November 10th, 2010
Vacant lots can be a concern for both property owners and communities. Civil property codes are designed to help all parties involved, yet navigating the process for code management can be tricky. Following are five factors to help you succeed.
- Communication. Successful code compliance relies on clear and timely communication between parties. Properties and the community at large remain at risk until code violations are abated. Effective communication fosters collaborative partnerships. Code Enforcement Officers are tasked with the duty of protecting and preserving the communities they serve. Lenders have the same objective; however, reaching the desired outcome is hindered because the relevant parties are not able to identify and communicate with each other quickly. Successful resolution comes down to partnerships between individuals.
- Expertise. Code compliance consists of more than removing exterior debris, abating graffiti, and maintaining landscaping. Code compliance encompasses a much wider range of challenges, from illegal property conversions to unsafe structures. Adding to this complexity is the need to balance the interests and authority limits of the lenders who have taken title to these properties. Effective compliance requires highly trained teams with an exclusive focus on code compliance. These dedicated teams must have diverse knowledge, ranging from building codes to effective abatement strategies, while understanding the needs of each stakeholder.
- Local Presence. Violation abatement requires a dynamic vendor panel of local inspectors and contractors who are capable of providing services on a wide range of code compliance issues quickly and cost effectively.
- Documentation. Lenders and investors require supporting documentation before authorizing expenditures to abate code violations. Non-compliance with local code requirements can result in thousands of dollars in legal fees, penalties, and fines. Consolidating documentation is important in keeping all stakeholders informed; in addition, doing so provides the needed documentation to receive reimbursement for expenses incurred to abate the violations.
- Technology. A dynamic technology solution is essential to the successful management of code violations. The solution should connect relevant parties, track timelines, identify exceptions, and monitor status and document resolution. Lenders today use servicing systems that address only the basic workflow of loan management and do not have the functionality to handle the highly specialized process of managing code violations.