A new Baltimore City law will allow officials to take an earlier and more aggressive approach to handling abandoned houses. As reported in the Baltimore Sun:
A law set to take effect next month will allow Baltimore officials to take over an abandoned home earlier than currently allowed, when an empty property begins to show signs of neglect but before it has a chance to fall into the level of disrepair that risks dragging down the entire neighborhood.
The law, sponsored by Henry, approved by the City Council and signed last week by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, is the city’s latest tool against the 16,000 vacant properties that blight the landscape — leftovers from an era when the population was nearly twice as large, and magnets for the crime that for many defines Baltimore. Many believe that the city cannot move ahead until it solves the problem; Rawlings-Blake has made it a policy priority.
The article notes that under the new law the circumstances in which the city can force the sale of an abandoned house have been expanded and the city can begin running the clock for the process after receiving the first 311 hotline complaint. Additionally, the city can petition the district court to force a sale after the property owner ignores repeated notices to keep up the home.
For more information read the full article in the Baltimore Sun.