Returning Tax Delinquent Vacant Properties to Assets
Tax-delinquent, vacant residential properties pose challenges to both the community and those looking for homes. Sometimes, the past-due taxes create a barrier to acquiring and improving the property. In those instances, foreclosure for unpaid real estate taxes may be the route to acquire the property. For that, the Land Bank is here to help!
Setting up for success
Prior to researching and applying for a property, you must become an approved applicant. To do so, you must take these steps:
- Read and understand Step 1 – Program Overview
- Provide completed Purchaser Application documents
- Provide copy of your photo identification
- Attend Home Buyer’s Success Training with the Home Ownership Center of Greater Dayton (coordinated by the Land Bank once your Purchaser Application is approved)
- Provide Supplemental Property List (if applicable), which is updated each time an eligible applicant submits a property application
Once you are an approved applicant, you can request the Land Bank to research up to 5 potentially eligible properties at a time for you.
Am I eligible?
In order to apply for a property through tax foreclosure, you, any spouse or co-applicant, and/or any entity within which you are a principal or a majority shareholder, must meet the following qualifications:
- Must complete a Home Buyer’s Success Training with the Home Ownership Center of Greater Dayton (HOCGD).
- Authorize the running of a credit report/background check and any other investigations that MCLB deems necessary to establish applicant’s eligibility.
- Show no building, housing or zoning code violations during the last 2 years on any properties you own or have an interest in.
- Be current with real estate taxes and assessments and have been on time during the last 2 years on all properties you own.
- Be current on local, state and federal taxes and which have been paid on time during the last 2 years. Any tax-related certificates of judgements must be closed for 2 years.
- Show no foreclosure actions during the last 2 years on any properties you own or have an interest in.
- Show no involvement in any bankruptcies during the last 2 years.
- Have at any time, more than 3 properties in process with the Land Bank’s Tax Foreclosure Acquisition Program or recently acquired through the Land Bank’s Tax Foreclosure Acquisition Program and still remain unimproved. It will be the opinion of the Land Bank’s staff that defines “unimproved.”
- Have at any time been banned from participation in Land Bank programs.
- Currently live or own property in Ohio.
Finding a tax-delinquent, vacant property
You can acquire a property to be your home, your investment property or an expanded yard. There are several steps to find a potentially eligible property. You can search through an online mapping tool for tax-delinquent properties. Tax-delinquent properties in Montgomery County, outside of the City of Dayton, are marked in the Land Bank’s property search tool, GoGetProperties.com. (The City of Dayton has determined that tax-delinquent properties inside the City of Dayton are to be pursued through depositor’s foreclosure with the Montgomery County Treasurer’s Office.)
A property will also need to be deemed as tax-lien eligible, as noted on the Treasurer’s website, in order to be eligible. See the Land Bank’s Go Get Properties Tutorial for more details. Next, you will need to research if the property is vacant. Please contact two utilities (water, electric, gas) to determine if the property has active service. Once you identify the tax-delinquent property you’re interested in and you believe is vacant, call the Land Bank at 937-531-6921 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Land Bank will research up to 5 properties at a time for you.
What types of properties qualify for the Tax Foreclosure Acquisition Program?
Property qualifications for the Tax Foreclosure Acquisition Program include
- Residential property of 1-4 units. Please note, at this time, the Land Bank does not take applications for properties classified as condominiums.
- Taxes have been delinquent for at least one year.
- Property “unoccupied” per Ohio Revised Code 323.65. (“Unoccupied” means the property is physically uninhabited, there is an absence of utility connections, it is not being actively marketed and no person or business is visibly present.)
See our Frequently Asked Questions here for more information regarding property eligibility.
Applying for your property
If the tax-delinquent property is eligible, you must complete the Property Application and pay the program fee. (You’ll want to make sure you thoroughly read the affidavit!) As part of the acquisition process, you make a legal agreement to improve the property and pay the property taxes going forward as well as recognize that if the property’s exterior is not brought up to local zoning standards within 6 months of your acquiring the property, the Land Bank could reclaim the property. Once the application is submitted, the Land Bank’s role is to initiate the foreclosure and monitor the process, which can take between twelve and eighteen months. When the foreclosure is finalized, the Land Bank will transfer the property to you and you can begin your improvements.
What does it cost?
The fee is based upon the property type and proposed use and is payable in full when you submit the application.
- Vacant Land – Adjoining owner (lives next door to property): $2,000 per property
- Vacant Land – Non-adjoining: $3,000 per property
- Property with Structure: $5,000 per property
- Owner occupants can apply for $1,000 refund after they provide evidence that they have lived in the house for at least a year and have successfully met all other obligations of the program.
Improving your property
Once the Land Bank has transferred the property to you, you will need to take interior and exterior photos of the property. These photos, along with photos taken after improvements have been made, are submitted to the Land Bank 6 months after you acquired the property. The Land Bank will also confirm that certain exterior improvements have been made. If exterior improvements have not been made and/or property taxes on the property are not current, the Land Bank may, at its discretion, reclaim the property through the reverter deed, which is executed as part of the property transfer. For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions here.