Birmingham city leaders working to find owners of rundown South Eastlake home; officials say property is hazardous
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham city leaders are working to clean up a rundown property in the South Eastlake neighborhood. They said it’s in violation of health and environmental codes.
The house is on 87th Street South and Birmingham city officials said it is owned by a company, ATCF II Alabama LLC, and no one officially lives inside the home.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin took to social media to call out the owners, but since it is an out-of-state company, officials said it’s hard to criminally enforce they clean the property.
“Residents want to see something picked up tomorrow or yesterday,” Birmingham City Councilor Hunter Williams said. “This property has been a long standing nuisance. It’s a health hazard. We have squatters that are living in and out of it.”
Birmingham City Councilor Hunter Williams says it’s one of the most problematic spots in the city and it’s in his district.
“This is an example of something egregious,” Williams said. “Something that has been a problem for a long standing time, and something, quite frankly, that the city of Birmingham is sick of.”
Birmingham Police have been out to the property, but the city can’t legally clean the site - the owners have to.
“That property is owned by a shell corporation,” Williams said. “Which is owned by a different corporation, owned from a different corporation in the state of Florida. So, it is so many times removed from what the city has reach over that we are not able to take enforcement actions.”
For in state owners who violate city codes, the city can criminally pursue them and make them show up to court. But, after multiple private and public attempts to reach the owning company, Williams said the city is going to have to take other action.
“Just because we might be limited by the law, in terms of how we pursue them criminally, in an immediate fashion, we will be pursuing them in civil court,” he said.
While civil court can be an expensive and lengthy process, Williams said the city is committed to getting this site cleaned. He hopes for future legislation to prevent out-of-state owners from neglecting Birmingham homes.
“It is not fair that these out-of-state corporations, own shell corporations in the state of Alabama, and are buying up properties and neglecting them and not doing what they need to do to maintain them,” Williams said. “That action is going to be costly for the city of Birmingham, involve civil lawsuits, and it is going to be an ongoing process.”
WBRC reached out to two of the companies linked to the property to ask about it’s condition, but did not hear back as of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 24.
An attorney for ATCF II Alabama, LLC sent us this statement.
WBRC crews drove past the house Thursday afternoon and the house appears to have been cleaned.
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