City of Breckenridge Hills, MO
St. Louis County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Section 520.010 Purpose and Intent.

[Ord. No. 1189 §1, 8-19-2013[1]]
It is the purpose and intent of the City of Breckenridge Hills, Missouri, through the adoption of this Chapter, to establish an abandoned residential property registration program as a mechanism to protect residential neighborhoods from becoming blighted through the lack of adequate maintenance and security of abandoned properties.
[1]
Editor's Note: Sections 1 through 11 of this ordinance superseded former Ch. 520, Registration of Vacant Residential Structures, as adopted and amended by Ord. No. 1054 §1, 5-19-2003.

Section 520.020 Definitions.

[Ord. No. 1189 §2, 8-19-2013]
As used in this Chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABANDONED
A property that is vacant and is under a current notice of default and/or notice of trustee's sale, pending tax assessor's lien sale and/or properties that have been the subject of a foreclosure sale where the title was retained by the beneficiary of a deed of trust involved in the foreclosure and any properties transferred under a deed in lieu of foreclosure/sale.
ACCESSIBLE PROPERTY
A property that is accessible through a compromised/ breached gate, fence, wall, etc.
ACCESSIBLE STRUCTURE
A structure/building that is unsecured and/or breached in such a way as to allow access to the interior space by unauthorized persons.
AGREEMENT
Any agreement or written instrument, which provides that title to residential property, shall be transferred or conveyed from one owner to another owner after the sale, trade, transfer or exchange.
ASSIGNMENT OF RENTS
An instrument that transfers the beneficial interest under a deed of trust from one lender/entity to another.
BENEFICIARY
A lender under a note secured by a deed of trust.
BUYER
Any person, copartnership, association, corporation, or fiduciary who agrees to transfer anything of value in consideration for property described in an agreement of sale, as defined in this Section.
DANGEROUS BUILDING
Any building/structure that is in violation of any condition referenced in the Breckenridge Hills City Code and/or any condition deemed to be dangerous by a City of Breckenridge Hills official, inspection officer, Police Officer or the Breckenridge Hills Municipal Court.
DAYS
Consecutive calendar days.
DEED IN LIEU OF FORECLOSURE/SALE
A recorded document that transfers ownership of a property from the trustor to the holder of a deed of trust upon consent of the beneficiary of the deed of trust.
DEED OF TRUST
An instrument by which title to real estate is transferred to a party as security for a real estate loan. This definition applies to any and all subsequent deeds of trust, i.e., second trust deed, third trust deed, etc.
DEFAULT
The failure to fulfill a contractual obligation, monetary or conditional.
DISTRESSED
A property that is under a current notice of default and/or notice of trustee's sale and/or pending tax assessor's lien sale or has been foreclosed upon by the trustee or has been conveyed to the beneficiary/trustee via a deed in lieu of foreclosure/sale.
EVIDENCE OF VACANCY
Any condition that on its own or combined with other conditions present would lead a reasonable person to believe that the property is vacant. Such conditions include, but are not limited to, overgrown and/or dead vegetation, accumulation of newspapers, circulars, flyers and/or mail, post-due utility notices and/or disconnected utilities, accumulation of trash, junk and/or debris, the absence of window coverings such as curtains, blinds and/or shutters, the absence of furnishings and/or personal items consistent with residential habitation, statements by neighbors, passersby, delivery agents, government employees that the property is vacant.
FORECLOSURE
The process by which a property, placed as security for a real estate loan, is sold at auction to satisfy the debt if the trustor (borrower) defaults.
LOCAL
Within forty (40) road/driving miles' distance of the subject property.
NEIGHBORHOOD STANDARD
Those conditions that are present on a simple majority of properties within a three-hundred-foot radius of an individual property. A property that is the subject of a neighborhood standard comparison, or any other abandoned property within a three-hundred-foot radius, shall not be counted toward the simple majority.
NOTICE OF DEFAULT
A recorded notice that a default has occurred under a deed of trust and that the beneficiary intends to proceed with a trustee's sale.
OUT OF AREA
In excess of forty (40) road/driving miles' distance of the subject property.
OWNER
Any person, copartnership, association, corporation, or fiduciary having a legal or equitable title or any interest in any real property.
OWNER OF RECORD
The person having recorded title to the property at any given point in time the record is provided by the St. Louis County Records Office and/or any party that is the landlord of the property.
PROPERTY
Any unimproved or improved real property, or portion thereof, situated in the City and includes the buildings or structures located on the property regardless of condition.
RESIDENTIAL BUILDING
Any improved real property, or portion thereof, situated in the City, designed or permitted to be used for dwelling purposes, and shall include the buildings and structures located on such improved real property. This includes any real property being offered for sale, trade, transfer, or exchange as residential, whether or not it is legally permitted and/or zoned for such use.
SECURING
Such measures as may be directed by an official from the City of Breckenridge Hills and/or St. Louis County or his or her designee that assist in rendering the property inaccessible to unauthorized persons, including but not limited to the repairing of fences and walls, chaining/padlocking of gates, the repair or boarding of door, window and/or other openings. Boarding shall be completed to a minimum of the current HUD securing standards at the time the boarding is completed or required.
TRUSTEE
The person, firm or corporation holding a deed of trust on a property.
TRUSTOR
A borrower under a deed of trust, who deeds property to a trustee as security for the payment of a debt.
VACANT
A building/structure that is not legally occupied.

Section 520.030 Assignment of Rents To Be Recorded.

[Ord. No. 1189 §3, 8-19-2013]
Within ten (10) days of the purchase and/or transfer of a loan/deed of trust secured by residential property, the new beneficiary/trustee/owner/landlord shall record, with the St. Louis County Recorder's Office, an assignment of rents, or similar documents, that lists the name of the corporation, and/or individual, the mailing address and contact phone number of the new beneficiary/trustee/owner/landlord responsible for receiving payments associated with the loan/deed of trust.

Section 520.040 Registration of Properties.

[Ord. No. 1189 §4, 8-19-2013]
A. 
Any beneficiary/trustee/owner/landlord who holds a deed of trust on a property located within the City of Breckenridge Hills, Missouri, shall perform an inspection of the property that is the security for the deed of trust, upon default by the trustor, prior to recording a notice of default with the St. Louis County Recorder's Office. If the property is found to be vacant or shows evidence of vacancy, it is, by this Chapter, deemed abandoned and the beneficiary/trustee/owner/landlord shall, within ten (10) days of the inspection, register the property with the City of Breckenridge Hills and St. Louis County on forms provided by the City.
B. 
If the property is occupied but remains in default, it shall be inspected by the beneficiary/trustee/owner/landlord, or his designee, monthly until:
1. 
The trustor or other party remedies the default; or
2. 
It is found to be vacant or shows evidence of vacancy at which time it is deemed abandoned, and the beneficiary/trustee/owner/landlord shall, within ten (10) days of that inspection, register the property with the City of Breckenridge Hills and St. Louis County on forms provided by the City.
C. 
In either case the registration shall contain the name of the beneficiary/ trustee/owner/landlord (corporation or individual), the direct street/office mailing address of the beneficiary/trustee/owner/landlord (no P.O. boxes), a direct contact name and phone number for the beneficiary/trustee/owner/landlord and, in the case of a corporation or out-of-area beneficiary/trustee, the local property management company responsible for the security, maintenance and marketing of the property. Registration fees will not be prorated.
D. 
An annual registration fee shall accompany the registration form. The fee and registration shall be valid for the calendar year, or remaining portion of the calendar year, in which the registration was initially required. Subsequent registrations and fees are due January 1 of each year and must be received no later than January 31 of the year due.
E. 
This Section shall also apply to properties that have been the subject of a foreclosure sale where the title was transferred to the beneficiary of a deed of trust involved in the foreclosure and any properties transferred under a deed in lieu of foreclosure/sale.
F. 
Properties subject to this Chapter shall remain under the annual registration requirement; security and maintenance standards of this Section as long as they remain vacant.
G. 
Any person, firm or corporation that has registered a property under this Chapter must report any change of information contained in the registration within ten (10) days of the change.

Section 520.050 Landscaping and Maintenance.

[Ord. No. 1189 §5, 8-19-2013]
A. 
Properties subject to this Section shall be, in comparison to the neighborhood standard, kept free of weeds, dry brush, dead vegetation, trash, junk, debris, building materials, any accumulation of newspapers, circulars, flyers, notices, except those required by Federal, State or local law, discarded personal items, including, but not limited to, furniture, clothing, large and small appliances, printed material or any other items that give the appearance that the property is abandoned.
B. 
The property shall be maintained free of graffiti, tagging, or similar markings by removal or painting over with an exterior grade paint that matches the color of the exterior of the structure.
C. 
Visible front and side yards shall be landscaped and maintained to the neighborhood standard at the time registration was required.
D. 
Landscape includes, but is not limited to, grass, ground covers, bushes, shrubs, hedges or similar plantings, decorative rock or bark or artificial turf/sod designed specifically for residential installation.
E. 
Landscape does not include weeds, gravel, broken concrete, asphalt, decomposed granite, plastic sheeting, mulch, indoor-outdoor carpet or any similar material.
F. 
Maintenance includes, but is not limited to, regular watering, irrigation, cutting, pruning and mowing of required landscape and removal of all trimmings.
G. 
Adherence to this Section does not relieve the beneficiary/trustee or property owner of any obligations set forth in any covenants, conditions and restrictions and/or homeowners' association rules and regulations which may apply to the property.

Section 520.060 Property To Be Maintained in Secure Manner; Inspection.

[Ord. No. 1189 §6, 8-19-2013]
A. 
Properties subject to this Section shall be maintained in a secure manner so as not to be accessible to unauthorized persons.
B. 
Secure manner includes but is not limited to the closure and locking of windows, doors (walk-through, sliding and garage), gates and any other opening of such size that it may allow a child to access the interior of the property and or structure(s). In the case of broken windows, securing means the reglazing or boarding of the window.
C. 
If the property is owned by a corporation and/or out-of-area beneficiary/ trustee/owner/landlord, a local property management company shall be contracted to perform weekly inspections to verify that the requirements of this Section, and any other applicable laws, are being met.
D. 
The property shall be posted with the name and twenty-four-hour contact phone number of the local property management company. The posting shall be no less than eighteen (18) inches by twenty-four (24) inches and shall be of a font that is legible from a distance of forty-five (45) feet and shall contain, along with the name and twenty-four-hour contact number, the words "THIS PROPERTY MANAGED BY" and "TO REPORT PROBLEMS OR CONCERNS CALL." The posting shall be placed on the interior of a window facing the street to the front of the property so it is visible from the street, or secured to the exterior of the building/structure facing the street to the front of the property so it is visible from the street or if no such area exists, on a stake of sufficient size to support the posting in a location that is visible from the street to the front of the property but not readily accessible to vandals. Exterior posting must be constructed of and printed with weather-resistant materials.
E. 
The local property management company shall inspect the property on a weekly basis to determine if the property is in compliance with the requirements of this Chapter.

Section 520.070 Authority of City To Implement Additional Measures.

[Ord. No. 1189 §7, 8-19-2013]
In addition to the enforcement remedies established in the City of Breckenridge Hills City Code, the City of Breckenridge Hills shall have the authority to require the beneficiary/trustee/owner/landlord and/or owner of record of any property affected by this Chapter to implement additional maintenance and/or security measures, including, but not limited to, securing any/all door, window or other openings, installing additional security lighting, increasing on-site inspection frequency, employment of an on-site security guard or other measures as may be reasonably required to arrest the decline of the property.

Section 520.080 Registration Fee.

[Ord. No. 1189 §8, 8-19-2013]
The fee for registering an abandoned residential property shall be sixty dollars ($60.00).

Section 520.090 Enforcement.

[Ord. No. 1189 §9, 8-19-2013]
Violations of this Chapter may be enforced in any combination as allowed in the City of Breckenridge Hills City Code.

Section 520.100 Appeals.

[Ord. No. 1189 §10, 8-19-2013]
Any person aggrieved by any of the requirements of this Chapter may appeal insofar as such appeal is allowed under the City of Breckenridge Hills City Code.

Section 520.110 Violations.

[Ord. No. 1189 §11, 8-19-2013]
Violations of this Chapter shall be treated as a strict liability offense regardless of intent. Any person, firm and/or corporation that violates any portion of this Chapter shall be subject to prosecution and/or administrative enforcement permitted under the City of Breckenridge Hills City Code for nuisance properties and/or pursuant to the general penalty provided by the City of Breckenridge Hills City Code, Section 100.090.