Mow to Own Program
Mow to Own Program
The City of Jennings “MOW TO OWN” program is for the residents of the City of Jennings who own either residential and/or commercial property directly next to the vacant city owned property the resident wishes to own. The City has owned and maintained many of these parcels for many years and it has been determined that these properties have become a burden on the city’s resources and there is a strong likely hood that they will not be developed to create new housing, industry or jobs. This program is being created to allow these parcels to return to the tax rolls and aide in returning our neighborhoods to a more welcoming area.
The “MOW TO OWN” Program mirrors the program utilized by the City of St. Louis, which has had success in many areas of the city helping to curve continued blight and deterioration. Similar to the City of St. Louis’s program ours will be a ‘sweat equity’ program in which residents can take immediate ownership of a vacant lot that is located next to an occupied property that they own, for a small fee. Participants will be required to maintain the lot by regularly mowing and removing any trash and debris for a period of twenty four (24) months without any code violations. If after twenty four months there are no violations found from the City’s Building Division and no complaints, the Building Division will remove the maintenance lien and the owner will own the property.
Step 1: Identify an Eligible Lot
Eligible Lots are:
- The lot must be the property of the City of Jennings.
- The lot must not be contiguous to three or more City owned development lots.
- The lot must be directly adjacent to the property owned and maintained by the applicant.
Step 2: Applicant Qualifications
An applicant to qualify must:
- Applicant must have paid all real estate taxes on all properties they own in the City of Jennings and have no outstanding violations on those properties.
- Applicant must live in and/or own the occupied residential building adjacent to the lot for which they are applying.
Step 3: Maintenance Requirements
During the 24 month period, the applicant must agree to:
- Keep property free and clear of debris and excessive vegetation.
- Comply with City ordinances, including keeping grass cut to no higher than seven inches.
- Pay current real estate taxes assessed on the lot.
- Each resident applying for this program and obtaining property from the City of Jennings shall also sign a “Waiver of Liability” waiving any and all liability against the City of Jennings and/or its representatives with respect to the Property.
To apply for the Mow to Own Program:
- Download an application or pick up an application from the Building Department at City Hall 2120 Hord Ave. Room 106.
- Complete the application and return it the building department office along with a $25.00 non-refundable application fee.
- $25.00 application processing fee, cashier’s check or money order (non-refundable).
- $100.00 administrative fee, which includes recording cost of the initial deed and the subsequent release of the maintenance item.
- There is no additional cost for the land itself.
Note: Participants may choose to acquire title insurance at their own cost.
What to Expect
- Each application will be reviewed by staff to determine if the parcel meets the program’s requirements.
- Once the application is approved the successful applicant will receive a deed to the property with a maintenance lien allowing the property to be reacquired by the City should the applicant fail to maintain the Lot.
- Participant/Applicant Agrees that with respect to the “Mow to Own” program and lot(s) acquired:
- If participant/applicant fails in any way to comply with the “Maintenance Requirements” as detailed in “Step 3” of the “Mow to Own Program” or the “Mow to Own Application” participant/applicant agrees the subject property and title/deed relating to the subject property shall, upon written notice from the city and a failure to cure said violation within ten (10) business days, transfer/revert back to the City of Jennings.
- Upon participant/applicant’s failure to comply as referenced above, without notice, and without judicial proceedings of any kind, the City of Jennings may enter into repossess and maintain the property at participant/applicant’s expense and participant/applicant will immediately- within five (5) business days- complete and file the necessary paperwork to effectuate the transfer of the subject property, deed and title to same back to the City of Jennings. If the City of Jennings is forced to institutes an action or proceeding against the other party relating to the property and/or provisions of this “Mow to Own” program then the participant/applicant in such action or proceeding shall reimburse the City of Jennings for its actual attorneys’ fees, and costs and expenses incurred on any appeal, reversion and/or transfer of the property or in collection of any judgment.
- Participant/Applicant also agrees to sign the attached “Waiver of Liability” form with respect to property, whereby, participant/applicant agrees to waive any and all liability against the City of Jennings whatsoever associated with the Property and assumes legal responsibility for the property in the event of any accident of any kind occurring on the property while the property is possessed, maintained and/or owned by the participant/applicant.