Business & Economy

Los Angeles homeowners can call 311 to take care of abandoned properties

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With unemployment persistently high and the housing market still in the doldrums, the foreclosure crisis drags on.

The foreclosure crisis has left neighborhoods all around the Southland pockmarked with abandoned properties.

Those unkempt properties can become eyesores – but nearby homeowners don’t know what to do to get those lots cleaned up. The city of Los Angeles has a new law that fines banks if they fail to maintain homes taken in foreclosure.

City Council President Eric Garcetti explains. "A lot of those abandoned properties suddenly got a work crew out there, which means more jobs, and got a facelift, which means those properties look good again."

"So if somebody has a house on the block where the weeds are growing tall and where nobody has been home for months, how do they know who even owns it? How can they hold the bank or anybody accountable?"

"Part of the legislation we have in the city of Los Angeles is new owners and banks have to register. So we know who owns any of these properties. If you have a property on your street that has been abandoned, that has been neglected, call 3-1-1 and we will make sure city crews come out and inspect that property, make sure they are cited if they don’t comply. But we really want those places to get cleaned up."

Garcetti urges residents in neighborhoods across Los Angeles, in East L.A., West L.A., South L.A. and the Valley to call 3-1-1 to clean up an abandoned property on their block.