City Establishes Code Enforcement Lienholder Notification System; Holds Violators Accountable

COVINGTON, KY – The City of Covington implemented a Lienholder Notification system providing the public with information pertaining to properties in Covington with liens. Additionally, the system assists the City in its efforts to hold code violators accountable and ensure compliance.

Created as result of recent changes to state legislation, Covington’s Lienholder Notification system is intended to facilitate improved communication between the City and individuals or lenders who have equitable interests in Covington properties.

Senior Assistant City Solicitor/ABC Administrator Michael Bartlett stated, “The City is optimistic that improved communication in the form of notifying lienholders about nuisance code violations will encourage swifter abatement of nuisances by owners or lienholders, and will ultimately result in a reduced number of blighted properties. 

“We look forward to utilizing the new system as another tool in our effort to address dilapidated and blighted structures and build a better community for our citizens.”

Featured on the City’s website, the Lienholder Notification system database includes the name of the person charged with the violation, physical address where the violation occurred, last known mailing address of property owner, specific description of the citation leading to the final order, findings of the final order, and status of the final order. To view the Lienholder Notification system webpage, click here.

Bartlett explains the multi-step process that takes place prior to the issuance of a final order and the addition of a property and its owner to the Lienholder Notification system database.

He stated, “Once a citation is served, a property owner has seven days to pay a fine, request a hearing before the Code Enforcement Board, or do nothing. Depending upon the property owner’s response, a final order could be issued.

“After a final order is issued, the City will begin the Lienholder Notification system by adding the violator to the database and giving notice to anyone who signed up to receive updates. Ultimately, a lien may be filed against the property if the fine is not paid or the violation is not resolved.” 

One of the biggest changes that occurred as a result of the new system relates to requests for a hearing before the Code Enforcement Board. If a property owner does not request a hearing before the Code Enforcement Board, they will have waived the right to this hearing and they will have to appeal the case in Circuit Court.

Another change includes the ability of a lienholder to step into the shoes of the property owner and take action in response to a final order. If after 45 days from the issuance of the final order, the lienholder does not abate the violation or pay the fine, the City will file a lien. As a result, the City’s lien will become superior to all other liens except state, local, and school taxes.

The new legislation and system are intended to provide the City of Covington and other local governments the authority to better protect, promote, and improve the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens.

Additionally, the legislation provides the City’s Code Enforcement Board the authority to continue issuing remedial orders, securing search warrants, and imposing civil fines in order to provide an effective method of ensuring compliance with City laws.

City Manager Larry Klein stated, “Through the implementation of the City’s Lienholder Notification system and the new state legislation, the City is able to further carry out its initiatives in holding property maintenance code violators accountable for their actions and prevent repeat offenders from committing future violations.

“We look forward to the positive impact the new legislation and system will have on neighborhoods and commercial areas, including swifter compliance amongst violators and improved communication between the City, lienholders and lenders.”

The Code Enforcement Board issues final orders and imposes civil fines for violations of the Nuisance Code, Covington Code of Ordinances Chapter 92. The Board meets the second and fourth Wednesday of the month in the City Hall Commission Chambers.

Interested individuals and parties are able to sign up with the City to be notified of code enforcement actions. The City will accept registration via the website and constant contact. Once signed up, individuals will receive a weekly email directing them to the City’s database code actions where final orders have been entered. To sign up, please click here.

If you are a lienholder and you would like to take action with regard to a final order associated with a property, please contact the City’s Code Enforcement Division at 859-292-2323.