If you own a vacant home in Corpus Christi that is in serious disrepair, be prepared to answer to the City's Code Enforcement officers.
A couple of property owners were surprised Thursday when they got a call from a neighbor alerting them that police were at their property. That kind of unannounced inspection could happen to any property owner in Corpus Christi.
Lifelong residents of Corpus Christi, Billy and Albert Olivarez, were left to care for their parents home on the 1400 block of Vanloan after they passed away. So for the past ten years, they have made sure to maintain the property as best they could.
They were surprised when Code Enforcement officers, accompanied by police, broke the backdoor in to inspect the house.
"My neighbor called me that the City was here. City policemen," Billy Olivarez said. "They had two big trucks and some people from the City, and that they were ready to tear the house down."
Billy rushed to the house to find a bright orange sign on the front door, declaring that the structure is not in compliance with the City's building codes and cannot be occupied. It's a disappointment because a family member had plans to renovate the home.
"Being that it's your parents', it hits you in the heart," Albert Olivarez said. "Anything like this. I came over as soon as he called me this morning to find out what we can do. Where the problems are at."
"My taxes are up to date, and I have never received any notice," Billy said. "Nothing at all about this house, if I owe any money or am behind on anything."
"What happened was that this property was flagged as a substandard structure," Code Enforcement Supervisor Tracy Cantu said. She added that inspectors obtained an administrative search warrant, which allowed officers to break into the home.
Now, the Olivarez brothers will have 30 days to comply, though that time frame can be negotiated if work begins soon.
The City said it will be out scouting other locations for the exact same reason, in hopes of having homes in disrepair brought back to code.