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Port Charlotte, FL 33948

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Vacant Property Program

All properties meeting the criteria of abandoned and vacant located within Charlotte County must be registered annually in the Abandoned and Vacant Properties Registration Program.

Vacant Property

Any property that is vacant and is:

  • Under current notice of default or notice of mortgagee’s sale by the lender.
  • The subject of a tax lien certificate of sale.
  • Property that has been the subject of a foreclosure sale where the title was retained by the beneficiary of a mortgage involved in the foreclosure.
  • Property transferred under a deed in lieu of foreclosure or sale.

Evidence of Vacancy

Any condition or circumstance that, on its own, combined with other conditions or circumstances present, would lead a reasonable person to believe that a property is vacant. Such conditions may include but are not limited to:

  • Overgrown or dead vegetation, including lawns, shrubbery and other plantings.
  • Accumulation of abandoned personal property, trash or waste.
  • Visible lack of maintenance of any building or structure on the property.
  • Graffiti on or other defacement of buildings or structures on the property.
  • Any other condition or circumstance reasonably indicating that the property is not occupied.

Who Must Register

  • Any owner who has abandoned or intends to abandon real property shall immediately register the property with the County. Registration fees will be waived for single family homeowners who resided in the home until the property was vacated for the first year of registration.
  • Upon the filing of a Notice of Lis Pendens or an action to foreclose upon a mortgage or other similar instrument of debt, the holder of said mortgage or other debt instrument shall immediately register the property with the County.


There is an Annual Registration fee required with this program. See schedule below. This fee is not pro-rated and the fee renewal is due 12 months after initial registration.

  • $150.00 First year registration.
  • $250.00 For buildings that have been vacant for two years.
  • $500.00 For buildings that have been vacant for three years.
  • $1,000.00 For buildings that have been vacant for four years.
  • $2,000.00 For buildings that have been vacant for five years.
  • $4,000.00 For buildings that have been vacant six or more years.

Responsible Party

Who is the Responsible Party?

  • The Owner of a vacant parcel of real property: or,
  • The holder of owner of the mortgage, deed of trust of similar instrument encumbering the real property during any time when an Owner of the real property is in default under the terms of that mortgage; or,
  • Both the Owner and the Mortgagee.

The Responsible party may designate a property management or maintenance company to perform the required maintenance of the real property on the behalf of the responsible party.

Inspection Requirements

  • An inspection shall be performed by the mortgagee upon default by the mortgagor, prior to the issuance of a notice of default. If the property is found to be vacant, or shows evidence of vacancy, it shall be deemed to be abandoned and the Mortgagee shall comply with the registration requirements within ten (10) days of the inspection.
  • If the property is occupied but remains in default, it shall be inspected by the Mortgagee or their designee monthly until either:
  • The default is remedied; or,
    • It is found to be vacant or shows evidence of vacancy.
    • Any mortgagee, who holds a mortgage on real property located within Charlotte County which is in default and the subject of an outstanding notice of default, Notice of Lis Pendens, or foreclosure action as of August 1, 2010, shall perform an inspection of the property by September 1, 2010. If the property is found to be vacant or shows evidence of vacancy, it shall be deemed to be abandoned and the Mortgagee shall register the property with Charlotte County within ten (10) days of the inspection.

Maintenance Requirements

  • All work performed on a vacant or abandoned property must be properly permitted as required by Section 3-2-27, Charlotte County Code of Laws & Ordinances and a licensed contractor(s) must be hired to do the work.
  • Properties shall be kept free of weeds, overgrown 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, or any other items that give the appearance that the property is abandoned.
  • The property shall be maintained free of graffiti or similar markings by removal or painting over with exterior grade paint that matches the color of the exterior structure.
  • Front, side, and rear yard landscaping shall be maintained in accordance with the County’s standard at the time registration was required.
  • General maintenance shall include but is not limited to the following: watering, cutting, and mowing of landscaping, repairs to a building or other structure, or other acts reasonably necessary to maintain acceptable cosmetic appearance of the property, including any building or structure on the property.
  • Pools and spas shall be maintained so that the water remains free and clear of pollutants and debris. Pools and spas shall comply with the enclosure requirements of the International Property Maintenance Code, as may be amended from time to time.

Security Requirements

The responsible Party shall secure registered properties so that they are not accessible to unauthorized persons. “Secure” means the closing and locking of windows, doors, gates, and other openings.

  • Walls and fences shall be maintained in good repair.
  • Broken windows shall be secured by re-glazing.
  • Boarding of broken windows shall be used only as a temporary corrective measure and shall be secured in accordance with the International Property Maintenance Code.

Property Managers

  • The Responsible Party may elect to use a Property manager for the purpose of complying with the requirements of this program but such election does not relieve the Responsible Party from liability for compliance with this program.
  • The Property Manager accepting appointment as the agent of the Responsible Party shall inspect the property not less than bi-weekly during the months of March to October.
  • If an inspection reveals non-compliance, the property Manager shall immediately give written notice of the violation to the Responsible Party who shall have ten (10) business days to begin action necessary to bring the property into compliance and not more than thirty (30) days to complete such action.


Failure to comply with the requirements of this program shall be a violation of County Code and subject to enforcement action in accordance to Chapter 162, Florida Statutes or Section 1-1-15, Charlotte County Code.


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