The Chirper and the New Clark County Code; Abatement of Public Nuisance

Effective June 1, 2010 Clark County Code was modified to address Nuisance and Abatement of problem Chirper[i] homes. This will affect you if you are working with short sales or REOs that are in serious disrepair upon your taking the listing.  Dave Pollex, Supervisor County Code Enforcement, 702 455 4509 explains that the key is communication.  The County is not getting timely and proper responses to the notices of violations, so the Code 11.06.070 attached here as a PDF was modified.  The cite for the code is here but it is not up to date yet.  The codes allows instant civil penalties up to $1,000 per day levied against the property.  A fine levied in this manner is similar to a tax and does not get removed in the event of foreclosure. 

Post Your Information.  When you take an REO listing the County suggests that you immediate place inside a window that can be seen from the street a sheet of paper [attached notice] that indicates you are the listing agent and your contact information.  It should be readable from the sidewalk if at all possible.

Notices.  Likely before fines are levied the County will contact you and demand that certain repairs are made.  This is why you want the contact information provided timely.  The County reports that they will first work with the salesperson on a time frame to get the items completed before they issue a citation.  Communication is important.  If, for example, your lender is very slow to approve repairs the County should be made aware of this.  The County can then make note of pending action on your part and even inform neighbors if further complaints are received.  Notices levied against property will have the direct contact information on the Notice for the assigned enforcement agent and describe the appeal process.

Priority Lien.  The fines that Clark County Code 11.06.07 can produce are Priority Tax Liens.  That means if they are present prior to a foreclosure, they do not get whipped away, rather they stay recorded against the property and will need to be paid.  It is important to look for these on preliminary title reports if you take an REO that was a Chirper for long time.

[i] “Chirper.” (c̸hʉrp -ûr) Noun. Slang. Described vacant home that chirps from within due to the home’s smoke detectors warning they need new batteries.  The larger the house, the more the smoke detectors.  If you get up to 3,000 square feet a melody can result, chirp ….ch chirp, chirp chirp from inside as the various detectors chirp.