Before launching into this particular blog I need to, in the interest of full disclosure state the following:
I am a member of the Greater Antelope Valley Association of Realtors and a member of the local government relations committee for this association. None of the views expressed here are those of any of these organizations and should not be taken as the opinions or positions of any of its members. Ok that said let the fireworks begin.
One of the givens here in America is that anyone can own real estate. Some do, some don't but the fact that if you want to, save your pennies and are willing to sacrifice anyone can own a home. Going along with that is that once you buy your home is the idea that it is your castle. A place to call home and that the government can't just come in and give the right to enter your home and make changes to it to some one else. But now all of that has changed.
Recently the City of Palmdale, in an attempt to mitigate the damage real and imagined, foreclosed properties are doing to neighborhoods thru-out the high desert, passed ord. 1345 which says in part, view the entire ordinance at http://www.cityofpalmdale.org/ , Responsible persons, including beneficiaries/trustees, shall maintain properties subject to inspection and/or registration pursuant to this chapter, as required by Chapter 8.36PMC and any other applicable provisions of federal, state or local law, and shall keep such properties free of weeds, dry brush, dead vegetation, trash, junk, debris, building materials, any accumulation of newspapers, circulars, flyers, notices, except those required by federal, state or local law, discarded personal items including but not limited to furniture, clothing, large and small appliances, or printed material and shall take any other action necessary to prevent giving the appearance that the property is abandoned, including but not limited to the following:" etc.etc.etc.
All sounds well and good at first glance until you look deeper. When does this start? "Any beneficiary/trustee, who holds a deed of trust on a property located within the City of Palmdale, shall perform an inspection of the property that is the security for the deed of trust, upon default by the trustor, prior to recording a notice of default with the Los Angeles County Recorder's Office."
Do these beneficiary/trustee own the home? NO! Do they legally have the right to go onto a property, and make changes to a home that they don't own? Well according to the City of Palmdale now they do. By initiating this ordinance in an effort to look like the city fathers are doing something, anything, about trying to keep foreclosures from negatively impacting the community they have over-reached. This ordinance now makes YOU, you keep your money in the bank, the stock market and other investments right, responsible for your neighbor's house. Not only that, but by requiring the lender or the trustee to be responsible for maintaining the appearance of a property that is simply in default, the City of Palmdale is telling these same lenders and trustees like Chicago Title that not only can they come onto your property and do an inspection or make changes but that they MUST. And by the way these "Trustees are at the same time required by law to have NO interest in the property but rather are required to be nuetral. Since when did the U.S.A. become the U.S.S.R., where governments start telling banks and other institutions that they need to be going to someone's home and doing repairs, making changes and otherwise interfering with a homeowner's rights? Is the government now going to start telling you that your going to have to take responsibility for the color your neighbor paints his home?
What if you live in a different state but have your savings account with Bank of (pick one)? Do you want them spending your savings to inspect, landscape, and maintain someone else's home? Isn't the mortgage crisis already killing the economy enough? Or do we need our politicians looking for even more ways to increase spending and putting even more pressure on home prices? Not to mention, the City of Palmdale has and continues to collect taxes from all the residents and businesses that do business in Palmdale to pay for the "CODE ENFORCMENT DEPARTMENT", now they are going to charge investors across the country to clean up their town. Oh and did I mention that as part of this the City of Palmdale is going to charge every bank for every single home that falls under this ordinance( over $100 per home just to complete the required city registration). Do we want distressed properties devaluing our community? Of course not but this is not the way to solve the problem. Throwing away one of our founding principals, individual property rights, just to be able to say that the city is doing something is not the way to fix or mitigate the problem.
If the city of Palmdale, or the state of California for that matter, really wanted to make it easier, for homeowners to keep their homes they would suspend property taxes for a year, or do away with the Mello-Roos districts plaguing our state. Now that your done laughing, seriously though infringing even disregarding individual rights even on a minor scale is something all of us need to fight against otherwise the next right that gets taken away might be yours.