Foreclosed properties must be maintained, secure and have no code violations. A sign must be posted on each property with 24-hour contact information for property managers.
The city uses the registry to track down property owners and notify them of problems. If that doesn’t work, it will send landscapers to clean up a property, then place a lien to recoup those expenses.
Gloucester’s registry lists about 30 properties. Building inspector William Sanborn said that’s helped the city hold banks, mortgage firms and owners of foreclosed properties responsible.
“We’ve tried to stay on top of it,” said Sanborn. “It’s made a big difference.”
Christian M. Wade covers the Massachusetts Statehouse for The Salem News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org