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News and Notices

Auburn Takes Bold Step in Assisting Residents to Respond to Abandoned Properties and Seeks Help to Encourage Mortgage Holders to Clean and Maintain

AUBURN, Wash. – July 13, 2012 - The City of Auburn has a new addition to its web site in an effort to help citizens with unkempt abandoned properties in their neighborhoods. Officially known as Mortgage Holder Owned Abandoned Properties, this web page functions as a “Wall of Shame” to highlight the owners of abandoned properties in the city with contact information for the mortgage holders so that citizens can make phone calls, write a letter or send an e-mail to encourage the mortgage holders to clean up the properties and keep them maintained.

Because of legal requirements, the City has to go through several steps to get action. The hope is that residents’ efforts may push these mortgage holders to respond faster to take action their properties.

The City of Auburn takes the issue of abandoned properties very seriously. City code compliance staff work every day to address the impacts of these properties on other properties and neighborhoods, however, in many instances, the mortgage holders are out of state financial institutions who are slow to respond or have hired property preservation companies who are not consistent in their maintenance activities.

The City's Code Compliance staff takes a proactive approach to dealing with abandoned properties. The City has adopted policies and procedures that offer property owners multiple opportunities to clean up their properties. In some instances, where a property owner has failed to respond to the City's efforts to get compliance, the City can under local law adopted by the Auburn City Council impose a daily civil penalty that is $500 for the first day and $100 per each additional day. If these penalties go unpaid after 14 days, the City can file a lien against the property. If a property owner pays the penalty, they are still legally obligated to clean up their property.

Please note that the information provided is the most current and available to the City. From time to time, the City may update information and may add or delete properties.

By working together, residents and City staff can effectively respond to and minimize the damaging impacts of abandoned properties on neighborhoods. City staff is available to work with individuals or neighborhoods or homeowners associations to address abandonment issues or concerns.

For more information on a specific property, to report an abandoned property in your neighborhood, or to learn more about the City’s code compliance efforts, please contact the City of Auburn Permit Center at 253-931-3020 or by email.

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View Wall of Shame