The Real Deal Miami

New Coral Gables law allows city to seize not-so-beautiful homes

City officials say banks prefer paying fines of $150 a day

February 04, 2015 12:45PM

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Coral Gables homes on watch list and city attorney Craig Leen

Coral Gables homes on watch list and city attorney Craig Leen

Coral Gables, known for its meticulously kept lawns and pre-approved paint colors, passed an ordinance that will force banks to comply with city code and maintain repossessed and foreclosed properties — or else.

City officials say that banks prefer paying fines of $150 a day over spending the money to bring properties up to code, the Miami Herald reported.

City Attorney Craig Leen wrote the law, which passed unanimously in January and is effective immediately.

“Before, all we could do is fine the bank, but now, this ordinance allows us to seize the property and sue the bank,” Leen told the Miami Herald. “It basically tells banks and mortgage holders that you can’t violate the law for a long period of time and have no consequences whatsoever.”

Coral Gables has had 13 properties on its watch list as of December. [Miami Herald] — Katherine Kallergis

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