The Real Deal Miami

Cities get legal power to deal with abandoned properties

March 16, 2009 09:21AM

The growing number of empty houses and condos in South Florida hasn’t just upped the eyesore factor — the vacant structures serve as magnets for thieves, vandals and squatters. Area cities and towns increasingly have legal powers to deal with the growing problem. Coral Springs and Miami now require owners of vacant or foreclosed properties to register and permit police and inspectors to gain access whenever necessary. Miami, Miami Lakes and Palmetto Bay have all passed laws to make it easier for code enforcement officers to spend what it takes to secure a blighted structure, then slap a lien on the owner for the cost, trimming months from the process.