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Montgomery law cracks down on abandoned properties

May 03, 2017 - The Washington Post

Owners of vacant, deteriorating houses could pay hundreds of dollars in fees for failing to fix their properties under a bill passed unanimously by the Montgomery County Council on Tuesday.

There are at least 350 vacant houses in Montgomery, many owned by out-of-state residents or developers "who simply have no short-term incentive to care for the property or put it back on the market," Tom Hucker (D-Eastern County), the bill's sponsor, said in a memo to his fellow council members.

Under county law, owners of vacant homes face fines of up to $500 for failing to clear up code violations within 90 days. But fines can be contested in court, where proceedings are often delayed and penalties lowered...