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A Home Ownership Nightmare Tale from Mt. Washington

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This past week, NPR's This American Life featured a show that looked at people held hostage, both literally and figuratively. Included among the three stories was the tale of a bunch of homeowners who find themselves "trapped in a morass of paperwork" after another man steals the titles to their homes. That story reminded us of this tale, which hit the InBox this week. "I’m a land broker who is based in Irvine, but I focus on new home building opportunities in Los Angeles County. I wanted to let you know how ridiculous the City of LA’s Fire Dept is when it comes to enforcing weed control. I went to look at a bank-owned property in Mt Washington that has a ton of plant growth.

The neighbors came out to talk to me about it, because they were wondering if I was from the Fire Dept, because said Dept has been saying that the property owner needs to do something about the weeds, etc. I told them multiple times that I am simply a land broker who represents potential buyers and I am just checking out the property. I gave them my business card, and one of them ended up giving it to the fire dept. and told them I am the owner of the property.

"The Fire Dept. who did no due diligence of their own (i.e. checking the land records to see that a bank owns it) then sends me a Notice of Noncompliance which of course we all know can lead to serious fines. I have tried calling the fire dept multiple times and cannot get a human, and I emailed a specific contact... I was sure to track down the phone no. of the neighbor who did that, and thanked him profusely for getting me caught up in that mess. Luckily, I have the ability to get an attorney involved to represent me and hopefully compel the fire dept to take care of this error, however I am very upset about this." The reader follows up to say that after he emailed us, he was finally able to get a hold of someone who claims they’ll help him get it taken care of. "We'll see," he writes.
· Reader Rant Archives [Curbed LA]