Judicial In Rem Code Enforcement and Judicial In Rem Tax Sales: Optimum Tools to Combat Vacancy and Abandonment in Atlanta

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This report identifies the optimum legal and policy response to vacant, abandoned and substandard properties—single family, multi-family and commercial units—in light of the tools currently available to the City of Atlanta. The report is informed by our experience with similar systems across the country, by analysis of existing Atlanta legal and policy tools, by interviews with key stakeholders, and by the tenacious and coordinated work of the Vacant and Abandoned Property Work Group. While a range of systems and policy tools may impact vacancy, abandonment and the presence of housing and building code violations, the focus of this report is on the optimum use of code enforcement—typically the first line of defense in the face of vacancy and abandonment—and delinquent tax enforcement to make an impact in neighborhoods.