City of West Allis, WI
Milwaukee County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 6583, 9/4/2001]

18.001 Legislative Declaration.

The Common Council of the City of West Allis finds that public nuisances exist in the City of West Allis in the operation of certain establishments and the use or alteration of property in violation of the building code, fire code, zoning code, and public health, safety, morality and general welfare laws and ordinances, all of which interfere with the interest of the public in the quality of life and total community environment, the tone of commerce in the City, property values and the public health, safety, morals, and welfare; the Common Council further finds that the continued occurrence of such activities and violations is detrimental to the health, safety, morals, and welfare of the people of the City of West Allis and of the businesses thereof and visitors thereto. It is the purpose of the Common Council to create one standardized procedure for securing legal and equitable remedies relating to the subject matter encompassed by this chapter, without prejudice to the use of or procedures available under existing and subsequently enacted ordinances, and to strengthen existing ordinances on the subject.

18.002 Legislative Declaration.

[Ord. O 2005-0008, 2/1/2005]
The Common Council finds that any premises that has generated three (3) or more calls for service for nuisance activities within a sixty (60) day period has received more than the level of general and adequate service and has placed an undue and inappropriate burden on the taxpayers of the City. The Common Council therefore directs the Police Chief, Fire Chief, Health Commissioner, Forester, Weed Commissioner, Building Inspector, the Director of Public Works and the City Attorney or their designees, as provided in this section, to charge the owners of such premises the costs associated with abating the violations at the premises at which nuisance activities chronically occur.

18.01 Public Nuisances Prohibited.

No person shall erect, cause, continue, maintain, or permit to exist any public nuisance within the City.

18.02 Public Nuisance Defined.

A "public nuisance" is a thing, act, occupation, condition, or use of property which continues for such length of time as to:
(1) 
Substantially annoy, injure or endanger the comfort, health, repose, or safety of the public.
(2) 
In any way render the public insecure in life or in the use and enjoyment of property.
(3) 
Greatly offend the public morals or decency.
(4) 
Unlawfully and substantially interfere with, obstruct or tend to obstruct or render dangerous for passage any street, alley, highway, or other public way or the use of public property.

18.03 Public Nuisances.

The following acts, omissions, places, conditions, and things are specifically declared to be public nuisances, but such enumeration shall not be construed to exclude other nuisances:
(1) 
Nuisances Affecting Health, Welfare, and Enjoyment of Property.
(a) 
Noxious Odors, Etc. Any use of property, substances, or things within the City emitting or causing any foul, offensive, noisome, noxious or disagreeable odors, gases, effluvia, or stenches extremely repulsive to the physical senses of ordinary persons which annoy, discomfort, injure, or inconvenience the health of any appreciable number of persons within the City.
(b) 
Street Pollution. Any use of property which causes any noxious or unwholesome liquid or substance or any dirt, mud, sand, gravel, stone, or other materials to flow into or be deposited upon any street, gutter, alley, sidewalk, or public place within the City.
(c) 
Release of Dust Into the Air. The handling, transportation, or disposition of any substance or material which is likely to be scattered by the air or wind, or is susceptible to being airborne or wind-borne, or operating or maintaining or causing to be operated or maintained any premises, open area, right-of-way, storage pile of materials, vehicle, construction, demolition or wrecking operations, stone or concrete crushing operation, or any other enterprise, which involves any dust likely to be scattered by the wind or air, or susceptible to being wind-borne or airborne such that there is a discharge of any dust emissions and the visible settlement of dust on property beyond the property on which it originated so as to damage or to interfere with the use and enjoyment of adjacent properties, including public property and right-of-way.
1. 
"Dust" shall mean solid particulate matter released into or carried in the air by natural forces, by any combustion, construction work, or mechanical or industrial processes or devices.
2. 
"Interfere with the use of adjacent properties" includes, but is not limited to, requiring the owner, occupants, or users of the adjacent property to close doors or windows on buildings or vehicles to prevent dust from entering, requiring the owner or user of vehicles or other tangible personal property to wipe, brush, wash, or blow off accumulated dust prior to normal operation or use, or requiring the sweeping, washing, or other cleaning of paved surfaces to prevent further tracking or scattering of the dust.
(d) 
General Pollution. Waste which is prepared or stored on any premises in a manner which creates or may create a public health hazard, safety hazard or blighting condition.
(2) 
Nuisances Affecting Morals and Decency.
[Ord. O-2005-0008, 2/1/2005]
(a) 
For the purposes of this section, "nuisance activity" means any of the following activities, behaviors or conduct whenever engaged in by premises owners, operators, occupants or persons associated with the premises:
1. 
Disorderly Houses. All disorderly houses, gambling houses and buildings or structures kept or resorted to for the purpose of gambling, or any drug or criminal gang houses as defined in sec. 823.113, (1) and (1)(b) Wis. Stats., and all buildings or structures where the sale, manufacture or delivery of drug paraphernalia as defined in sec. 961.571(1)(a), Wis. Stats., occurs.
2. 
Gambling Devices. The keeping of gambling devices as defined in Section 9.08(1)(e) of the Revised Municipal Code.
3. 
Unlicensed Sale of Liquor and Beer. All places where intoxicating liquor or fermented malt beverages are sold, possessed, stored, brewed, bottled, manufactured or rectified without a permit or license as provided by the ordinances of the City.
4. 
Continuous Violation of City Ordinances. Any place or premises within the City where City ordinances or state laws relating to public health, safety, peace, morals or welfare are repeatedly violated.
5. 
Illegal Drinking. Any place or premises resorted to for the purpose of drinking intoxicating liquor or fermented malt beverages in violation of state laws.
6. 
Establishment Violating Laws Related to Obscenity, Etc. Any place or premises within the City where the laws related to obscenity and related offenses set forth in secs. 944.20 to 944.34 of the Wisconsin Statutes occur.
7. 
An act of harassment as defined in sec. 947.013, Wis. Stats.
8. 
Disorderly conduct as defined in sec. 947.01, Wis. Stats.
9. 
Battery, substantial battery or aggravated battery as defined in sec. 940.19, Wis. Stats.
10. 
Littering of premises as defined in Section 7.05 of the West All is Revised Municipal Code.
11. 
Theft as defined in sec. 943.20, Wis. Stats.
12. 
Arson as defined in sec. 943.02, Wis. Stats.
13. 
Possession, manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance or related offenses as defined in Chapter 961, Wis. Stats.
14. 
Gambling as defined in sec. 945.02, Wis. Stats.
15. 
Keeping an animal in violation of Section 7.12 of the West Allis Revised Municipal Code.
[Ord. O-2007-0041, 10/16/2007]
16. 
Trespass to land as defined in sec. 943.13, Wis. Stats., or criminal trespass to dwelling as defined in sec. 943.14, Wis. Stats.
17. 
Any conspiracy to commit, as defined in Section 6.02(5) of the West Allis Revised Municipal Code or sec. 939.31, Wis. Stats., or attempt to commit, as defined in sec. 939.32, Wis. Stats., any of the activities, behaviors or conduct enumerated in Paragraphs (1) to (16).
18. 
Discharge of a firearm or air rifle as defined in Section 6.01(1) and (2) of the West Allis Revised Municipal Code.
19. 
Loitering as defined in Section 6.02(9) of the West Allis Revised Municipal Code.
20. 
Persons associated "with" means any person who, whenever engaged in nuisance activity, enters, patronizes, visits or attempts to enter, patronize or visit, or wishes to enter, patronize or visit, a premises or person present on the premises, including any officer, director, customer, agent, employee or independent contractor of a premises owner.
(3) 
Nuisances Affecting Peace and Safety.
(a) 
Dangerous Signs and Billboards. All signs, billboards, awnings, and other similar structures over or near streets, sidewalks, public grounds, or places frequented by the public, so situated, constructed, or maintained as to endanger the public safety.
(b) 
Illegal Buildings. All buildings erected, repaired, altered, or maintained without a permit or in violation of City ordinances relating to materials and manner of construction of buildings.
(c) 
Unauthorized Traffic Signs. All unauthorized signs, signals, markings, or devices placed or maintained upon or in view of any public highway or railway crossing which purport to be or may be mistaken as official traffic control devices or railroad signs or signals or which, because of their color, location, brilliance, or manner of operation, interfere with the effectiveness of any such device, sign, or signal.
(d) 
Obstruction of Intersections. All trees, hedges, billboards, or other obstructions which prevent persons driving vehicles on public streets, alleys, or highways from obtaining a clear view of traffic when approaching an intersection or pedestrian crosswalk.
(e) 
Low-Hanging Tree Limbs. All limbs of trees, bushes, shrubs, or other plants which project over or into any public sidewalk, street, or other public place and interfere with the full use and enjoyment thereof.
(f) 
Dangerous Trees. All trees which are a menace to public safety because of disease or other condition of the tree or are the cause of substantial annoyance to the general public.
(g) 
Dilapidated Buildings. All buildings or structures so old, dilapidated, or out of repair as to be dangerous, unsafe, unsanitary, or otherwise unfit for human use.
(h) 
Low-Hanging Wires and Cables. All wires and cables over streets, alleys, or public grounds which are strung less than fifteen (15) feet above the surface thereof.
(i) 
Noisy Animals. The keeping or harboring of any animal which, by frequent or habitual howling, yelping, barking, crowing, or making of other noises, to the great discomfort of the peace and quiet of the neighborhood or in such a manner as to materially disturb or annoy persons in the neighborhood who are of ordinary sensibilities.
(j) 
Obstructions of Streets; Excavations. All obstructions of streets, alleys, sidewalks, or crosswalks and all excavations in or under the same, except as permitted by the ordinances of the City but including those which, although made in accordance with such ordinances, are kept or maintained for an unreasonable or illegal length of time after the purpose thereof has been accomplished or which do not conform to the permit.
(k) 
Blighted Buildings and Premises. Premises existing within the City which are blighted because of faulty design or construction, failure to maintain them in a proper state of repair, improper management, or due to the accumulation thereon of junk or other unsightly debris, structurally unsound fences and other items which depreciate property values and jeopardize or are detrimental to the health, safety, enjoyment of property, or welfare of the people of the City.
(l) 
Suffocation Hazards. Any abandoned, unattended or discarded ice box, refrigerator, walk-in cooler, or other container of any kind, which has an air-tight door, left outside of any building or dwelling without first removing the door from the said ice box, refrigerator, walk-in cooler, or other container.
(m) 
Excessive Noise. The making, continuation, or causing to be made or continued any noise which either injures, endangers the comfort, repose, health, or safety of another, or substantially annoys another between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. This provision shall not apply to noise necessary for the protection or preservation of property, or the health, or safety of a person or to emergency short-term operations which are necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare including emergency utility and public works operations.

18.04 Abatement of Public Nuisances.

[Ord. O-2005-0008, 2/1/2005; Ord. O-2007-0041 (repeal and recreated), 10/16/2007]
(1) 
Enforcement.
(a) 
The Police Chief. Fire Chief, Health Commissioner, Forester. Weed Commissioner, Building Inspector or the Director of Public Works or one of their designees shall enforce those provisions of this chapter that come within the jurisdiction of their offices, or the City Attorney may represent their interests; and they shall make periodic inspections and inspections upon complaint to ensure that such provisions are not violated. No action shall be taken under this section to abate a public nuisance unless the official has inspected or caused to be inspected the premises where the nuisance is alleged to exist and has satisfied himself or herself that a nuisance does, in fact, exist.
(b) 
Whenever the Police Chief, Fire Chief. Health Commissioner, Forester. Weed Commissioner, Building Inspector or the Director of Public Works or one of their designees identifies that three (3) or more nuisance activities have occurred at a premises on separate days during a one-hundred-eighty-day period, that individual or the City Attorney may notify the premises owner in writing that the premises has become a chronic public nuisance. This notice shall be deemed properly delivered if sent by either first class mail to the premises owner's last known address or if delivered in person to the premises owner. If the premises owner cannot be located, the notice shall be deemed to be properly delivered if a copy is left at the premises owner's usual place of abode in the presence of some competent member of the family at least fourteen (14) years of age or a competent adult currently residing there.
[Ord. O-2012-0002, 1/17/2012]
(c) 
The notice shall contain: the legal description or street address of the premises; a description of the nuisance activities that have occurred at the premises; a statement indicating that the cost of future enforcement may be assessed as a special charge against the premises; a statement that the premises owner shall within ten (10) days respond to the appropriate office with either an appeal of the designation or to propose a written course of action to abate the nuisance activities.
(d) 
Whenever the Police Chief, Fire Chief, Health Commissioner. Forester, Weed Commissioner. Building Inspector, the Director of Public Works, their designees, or the City Attorney determines that an additional nuisance activity has occurred at a premises for which notice has been issued, and either this nuisance activity has occurred not less than fourteen (14) days after notice has been issued or a course of action submitted pursuant to this section has not been completed, the appropriate office may calculate the cost of enforcement for this and any subsequent nuisance activities and may refer such cost to the Clerk Treasurer. The premises owner shall be notified of the decision to refer the cost of enforcement. Delivery of this notice, along with a copy of the referral letter to the Clerk/Treasurer, shall be made as set forth in Paragraph (a) of this section and shall contain: the street address or legal description sufficient for identification of the premises; a statement that the cost of enforcement has been referred to the Clerk/Treasurer with concise description of the nuisance activities and the relevant sections of the code; and a notice of the premises owner's right to appeal pursuant to Section 18.04(6).
(e) 
Violation. Each subsequent incident of nuisance activity shall be deemed a separate violation.
(2) 
Summary Abatement.
(a) 
If the inspecting official determines that a public nuisance exists within the City and that there is great and immediate danger to the public health and safety, the official may, without notice or hearing, issue an order reciting the existence of a public nuisance constituting imminent danger to the public and requiring immediate action be taken, as he deems necessary, to abate the nuisance. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this subsection, the order shall be effective immediately. Any person to whom such order is directed shall comply with the order immediately.
(b) 
Whenever the owner and/or occupant shall refuse or neglect to remove or abate the condition meeting the criteria set forth in subsection (2)(a), above, and described in the order, the inspecting official shall, in his discretion, enter upon the premises and cause the nuisance to be removed or abated and the City shall recover the expenses incurred thereby from the owner or occupant of the premises or from the person who has caused or permitted the nuisance by billing the owner and/or occupant and placing the expenses on the property tax roll if said expenses are not paid within thirty (30) days.
(3) 
Abatement After Notice.
(a) 
If the inspecting official determines that a public nuisance exists, but that such nuisance does not threaten great and immediate danger to the public, the official shall issue an order reciting the existence of a public nuisance, and requiring the owner and/or occupant of the premises to remove or abate the condition described in the order within the time period specified therein. The order shall be served personally on the owner of the premises, as well as the occupant, or, at the option of the inspecting official, the notice may be mailed to the last known address of the owner and occupant, to be served by regular mail with return receipt. If the owner and the occupant cannot be served, the order may be served by posting it on the main entrance of the premises and by publishing as a Class 1 notice under Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 985. The time limit specified in the order runs from the date of service or publication.
(b) 
If the owner or occupant fails or refuses to comply within the time period prescribed, the inspecting official shall enter upon the premises and cause the nuisance to be removed or abated and the City shall recover the expenses incurred thereby from the owner or occupant of the premises or from the person who has caused or permitted the nuisance.
(4) 
Other Methods Not Excluded. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as prohibiting the abatement of public nuisances by the City or its officials in accordance with the laws of the State or the ordinances of the City of West Allis. Where the provisions of this chapter conflict with another section of the West Allis Revised Municipal Code, the more stringent provision shall apply.
(5) 
Court Order. Except when necessary under sub. (2), an official shall not use force to obtain access to private property to abate a public nuisance but shall request permission to enter upon private property if such premises are occupied and, if such permission is denied, shall apply to any court having jurisdiction for an order assisting the abatement of the public nuisance.
(6) 
Appeal. Appeal of the determination of the Police Chief, Fire Chief, Health Commissioner. Forester, Weed Commissioner, Building Inspector, the Director of Public Works, the City Attorney or their designees that a nuisance or chronic nuisance premises exists, or the action of the Clerk/Treasurer imposing a special charge against the premises, may be submitted to the Administrative Appeals Review Board pursuant to Section 2.48 of the Revised Municipal Code.
(7) 
Relief from order. Any person affected by an order for Abatement After Notice as provided under this section shall, pursuant to Chapter 68 of the Wisconsin Statutes, within thirty (30) days of the date of service or publication of the order, apply to the Administrative Appeals Review Board for review of the order to abate or remove the nuisance, or be forever barred. The Board shall determine the reasonableness of the order for abatement of the nuisance. Any person aggrieved by the determination of the Administrative Appeals Review Board shall appeal to the Circuit Court as provided in Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 68.

18.05 Costs of Abatement and Enforcement.

[Ord. O-2005-0008, 2/1/2005; Ord. O-2007-0041, 10/16/2007]
In addition to any other penalty imposed by this chapter for the erection, contrivance, creation, continuation or maintenance of a public nuisance, the costs of abating the public nuisance and the costs associated with enforcement once a premises has been designated a "chronic nuisance premises," or is summarily abated under Section 18.04 of the Revised Municipal Code, shall be collected as a debt from the owner, occupant, or person causing, permitting or maintaining the nuisance; and if notice to abate the nuisance has been given to the owner, such costs shall be assessed against the real estate as a special charge.

18.06 Penalty.

In addition to other penalties provided in this chapter, any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter, or any regulation, rule or order made hereunder, or permit or cause a public nuisance, shall forfeit not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500) for each offense, together with the costs of prosecution; and in default of payment of such forfeiture and costs, by imprisonment in the Milwaukee County House of Correction or Milwaukee County Jail until payment of such forfeitures and costs, but not in excess of the number of days set forth in section 800.095(a) of the Wisconsin Statutes, or by suspension of operating privileges, pursuant to sections 343.30 and 345.47 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Each and every day during which a violation continues constitutes a separate offense. In addition, where appropriate, legal or equitable actions may be commenced to enjoin any person, firm or corporation from violating any of the provisions of this chapter.

18.07 Severability.

If any provision, clause, sentence, paragraph, section, or part of this chapter, or application thereof to any person, firm, corporation, or circumstance, shall, for any reason, be adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional or invalid, said judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder of this chapter and the application of such provision to other persons, firms, corporations, or circumstances, but shall be confirmed in its operation to the provision, clause, sentence, paragraph, section, or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered and to the person, firm, corporation, or circumstance involved. It is hereby declared to be the legislative intent of the Common Council that this chapter would have been adopted had such invalid provision or provisions not been included.

18.08 Graffiti Abatement.

[Ord. O-2008-0022, 5/20/2008]
(1) 
Definition. In this section, "graffiti" means any inscription, word, figure or design marked, scratched, etched, drawn or painted with spray paint, liquid paint, ink, chalk, dye or other similar substances on buildings, construction sites, fences, structures, equipment and similar places without the express permission of the owner or operator of the property.
(2) 
Public Nuisance. The Common Council hereby finds that graffiti is detrimental to property values; degrades the community; causes an increase in crime; is inconsistent with the City's property maintenance goals and aesthetic standards; and, unless it is quickly removed from public and private property, results in other properties becoming the target of graffiti. Graffiti is hereby declared a public nuisance as it affects the public health, safety and general welfare of the community.
(3) 
Graffiti Prohibited. No owner or operator of any real property within the City may maintain or allow any graffiti to remain upon any building, construction site, fence, structure, or equipment located on such property when the graffiti is visible from the street or other public or private property. No owner or operator of a dumpster or other receptacle for temporary storage of discarded materials, garbage, waste, or other miscellaneous items may maintain or allow any graffiti to remain upon the dumpster or other receptacle.
(4) 
Notification by Police Department.
(a) 
Whenever a police officer determines that graffiti on any building, construction site, fence, structure, dumpster or other receptacle, or equipment within the City is visible from the street or other public or private property, the police officer shall mail or cause to be mailed, by first class mail to the last known address of the owner or registered agent, a written order directing the owner to abate the graffiti in a timely manner. The order shall include a description of the graffiti and premises, a date of issue, a statement of the consequences of the failure to remove the graffiti, an explanation of the right to petition the Property Maintenance Code Appeals Board for a hearing within twenty (20) days, a statement that any property owner or registered agent who does not file a petition for a hearing waives the right to assert that the graffiti did not meet the criteria for removal under this section, and a statement informing the property owner or registered agent that the property must be brought into compliance within twenty (20) days. Such order shall also be posted on the front door or other conspicuous place on the property.
(5) 
Hearing and Appeals Procedure.
(a) 
A property owner or registered agent may appeal the order to the Property Maintenance Code Appeals Board, established pursuant to Section 13.28(14), by filing a written request for a hearing with the City Clerk within twenty (20) days of the date of the issuance of the abatement order.
(b) 
The appeal and hearing procedure shall conform to the standard rules and hearing procedures of the Property Maintenance Code Appeals Board. The appellant shall not be required to pay any appeals fees.
(c) 
Upon receipt of the hearing request, the police officer shall halt the abatement of the nuisance, pending the decision of the Property Maintenance Code Appeals Board.
(d) 
If the Property Maintenance Code Appeals Board upholds the abatement of the nuisance, the property owner or registered agent may appeal the decision within thirty (30) days to the circuit court.
(e) 
If a property owner or registered agent does not file a timely written request for a hearing with the Property Maintenance Code Appeals Board, he or she waives the right to assert that the graffiti did not meet the criteria for abatement under this section.
(6) 
Abatement of Nuisance. Within twenty (20) days of the date of the abatement order, if the property owner or registered agent has not filed a petition or abated the nuisance, the City or a private contractor at the City's direction may enter the property and abate the graffiti upon exterior walls of buildings, fences, equipment, dumpsters or other receptacles, and other structures on the property that are visible from the street or other public or private property. The City or private contractor shall make all reasonable efforts to minimize damage from such entry. A property will be deemed abated when the graffiti has been obliterated by primer paint, sandblasting, water blasting, chemical solvents, or other means that serve to obliterate the graffiti. Primer paint shall closely match the background color or colors of the object being painted.
(7) 
Costs. The cost of the graffiti abatement shall be collected as a special charge against the property pursuant to Wis. Stat. Section 66.0627 for the costs of the services provided. If the special charge is not paid within thirty (30) days, the special charge shall be deemed delinquent. A delinquent special charge shall be a lien against the property as of the date of delinquency. The delinquent special charge shall be included in the current or next tax roll for collection and settlement under Chapter 74, Wis. Stats.

18.09 Nuisance Abandoned Buildings.

[Ord. O-2008-0030, 8/5/2008; Ord. O-2015-0046, 9/15/2015]
(1) 
Legislative Findings.
(a) 
That there are a large number of vacant buildings scattered throughout the City that are not properly maintained.
(b) 
That such vacant buildings have reached a stage of disrepair and deterioration with the yards of said buildings having become untended and filled with junk so as to constitute a blighting influence.
(c) 
That such vacant buildings are subject to exterior vandalism and are broken into and subject to vandalism of the interior, are used for unsanitary or immoral purpose, and are potential fire hazards.
(d) 
That the state of disrepair and deterioration of such vacant buildings creates a public nuisance, constitutes a hazard to the health, safety and welfare of the public, and creates a blighting influence on the surrounding neighborhood.
(2) 
Definitions.
(a) 
"Abandoned building" means a building or structure, as defined in Section 12.06 of the Revised Municipal Code, that is vacant or not occupied by a rightful owner or tenant and also has one or more of the following characteristics:
1. 
Is in violation of the lawn regulations set forth in Section 13.28(10)(b) of the Revised Municipal Code or the weed regulations set forth in Sec. 66.0407 of the Wisconsin Statutes.
2. 
Is in violation of the minimum standards for buildings and structures set forth in Section 13.28(9) of the Revised Municipal Code.
3. 
Has junk, refuse, rubbish, etc., strewn around or stored on the property or otherwise has unlawful outdoor storage of materials or has an abandoned vehicle or vehicles (as defined in Section 6.015 of the Revised Municipal Code) on the property.
4. 
There are broken or open doors or windows or the exterior of a building's structure otherwise is not secured from the elements or entry by trespassers.
5. 
Graffiti has not been removed from the buildings, structures, or equipment on the property as required by Section 18.08 of the Revised Municipal Code.
6. 
The buildings, structures or premises are otherwise dilapidated or deteriorated or create a dangerous condition.
7. 
Snow and/or ice have been allowed to accumulate and remain on the public sidewalk abutting the property contrary to Section 11.12 of the RMC.
(3) 
Prohibition. No owner of any real property may maintain, allow or suffer an abandoned building to exist within the City.
(4) 
Notification to Owner. The Director of Building Inspections and Neighborhood Services, Director of Public Works, or Health Commissioner or his or her designee shall mail or cause to be mailed, by first class mail to the last known address of the owner, a written order directing the owner to abate the specified conditions that constitute an abandoned building in a timely manner. The order shall include a list or description of the factors that are causing the blight or nuisance, a date of issue, a statement of the consequences of the failure to comply, an explanation of the right to petition the Property Maintenance Code Appeals Board for a hearing within ten (10) days, a statement that any property owner who does not file a petition for a hearing waives the right to assert that the property does not meet the definition of an abandoned building, and a statement informing the property owner that the property must be brought into compliance within ten (10) days. Such order shall also be posted on the front door or other conspicuous place on the property.
(5) 
Appeal and Hearing Procedure.
(a) 
A property owner may appeal the order to the Property Maintenance Code Appeals Board, established pursuant to Section 13.28(14) of the Revised Municipal Code, by filing a written request for a hearing with the City Clerk within ten (10) days of the issuance of the abatement order.
(b) 
The appeal and hearing procedure shall conform to the standard rules and procedures of the Property Maintenance Code Appeals Board.
(c) 
Upon receipt of the hearing request, the Director of Building Inspections and Neighborhood Services, Director of Public Works, or Health Commissioner or his or her designee shall halt the abatement process under Subsection (6), pending decision of the Property Maintenance Code Appeals Board.
(d) 
If the Property Maintenance Code Appeals Board upholds the determination that the property is an abandoned building, the owner may appeal the decision within thirty (30) days to the Circuit Court of Milwaukee County.
(e) 
If a property owner does not file a timely written request for a hearing before the Property Maintenance Code Appeals Board, he or she waives the right to assert that the property is not an abandoned building and in need of abatement under this Section.
(f) 
Emergency Procedure. Notwithstanding the notice provisions of Subsection (4) and the appeal procedures of Subsection (5), the Director of Building Inspections and Neighborhood Services, Director of Public Works, or Health Commissioner or his or her designee may take immediate steps, including taking action through a private contractor, to abate a condition or conditions that create an immediate threat to health or safety. The owner of the property may contest the need for such action and/or the cost thereof after the abatement, following the hearing procedures set forth in Subsection (5).
(6) 
Abatement of Nuisance. Within ten (10) days of the date of the abatement order, if the owner has not filed an appeal or abated the nuisance, the Director of Building Inspections and Neighborhood Services, Director of Public Works, or Health Commissioner or his or her designee, or a private contractor chosen by the Director of Building Inspections and Neighborhood Services, Director of Public Works, or Health Commissioner or his or her designee, may enter the property and abate the conditions that give rise to the property being an abandoned building, except that the Director of Building Inspections and Neighborhood Services, Director of Public Works, or Health Commissioner, or his or her designee, or contractor may not occupy the premises or cause them to be occupied unless the City is the owner or otherwise has legal care and custody of the property. A property will be deemed abated when the criteria establishing an abandoned building have been removed, corrected or repaired.
(7) 
Continuity of Abandoned Status. Once a property has been declared a nuisance abandoned property, the Director of Building Inspections and Neighborhood Services, Director of Public Works, or Health Commissioner or his or her designee shall continue to correct such deficiencies as they exist until the owner petitions the official who made the declaration and demonstrates that the owner can maintain the premises in conformance with State law and City ordinances. The petition shall be in writing to the official who made the nuisance determination. The official shall render a decision within thirty (30) days of receipt of the petition or the petition shall be deemed granted and the property will be removed from the list of nuisance abandoned properties. The determination of the declaring official may be appealed by an interested party as provided in Subsection (5).
(8) 
Costs. The cost of abatement shall be collected as a special charge against the property pursuant to Wis. Stat. Sec. 66.0627 for the costs of the services provided. If the special charge is not paid within thirty (30) days, the special charge shall be deemed delinquent. A delinquent special charge shall be a lien against the property as of the date of delinquency and shall be included in the current or next tax roll for collection and settlement under Chapter 74, Wis. Stat.
(9) 
Prohibition and Penalties. No person shall remove, alter, deface, damage, or tamper with any items, including signs, locks, boards, or any other materials, used by a City Building Inspector or his or her designee to post or secure any nuisance abandoned property. Any person violating this Subsection shall be required to forfeit not less than five hundred dollars ($500.00) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). For a second or subsequent violation, the person shall be required to forfeit not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) nor more than two thousand dollars ($2,000.00). The person shall be required to pay the costs of prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the person shall be imprisoned in the Milwaukee County House of Correction until such forfeiture and costs are paid, but not more than the number of days set forth in Sec. 800.095(4) of the Wisconsin Statutes, or by suspension of the defendant's operating privilege, pursuant to Secs. 343.30 and 345.47 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Each and every day that an offense occurs or continues constitutes a separate offense.

18.10 Registration of Properties Pending Foreclosure.

[Ord. O-2015-0042, 9/1/2015; Ord. O-2016-0018, 3-15-2016]
(1) 
Findings. The Common Council finds that a significant relationship exists among properties in the foreclosure process, the prevalence of blight and abandoned buildings, increased calls for police service, higher incidence of fires, both accidental and intentional, and decline and disinvestment in neighborhoods. Property owners involved in foreclosure have less incentive to maintain their properties, and properties in foreclosure have a higher incidence of building code violations than properties not in foreclosure. The foreclosure process may also result in abandonment. Abandoned buildings become havens for vandalism, arson and drug crimes, draining valuable governmental resources and creating a significant reduction in quality of life for the surrounding neighborhood. Registration, inspection and aggressive monitoring of properties in the foreclosure process help to stabilize and improve affected neighborhoods and aid in code enforcement efforts, as well as public safety. A mortgagee that does not register, inspect, secure, and maintain, as required in this section, places an undue and inappropriate burden on the taxpayers of the City and poses an increased risk to public health, safety and welfare.
(2) 
Purpose and Scope. The purpose of this section is to establish a registration program to monitor all real properties pending foreclosure to identify at-risk properties and to regulate the securing and maintenance of abandoned properties in foreclosure. This section is intended to reduce and prevent neighborhood blight; to ameliorate conditions that threaten public health, safety and welfare; to promote neighborhood stability and occupancy by preserving the condition and appearance of properties; and to maintain property values and assessments. It is declared a matter of public policy and an exercise of the City's police power that mortgagees initiating foreclosure proceedings against a property are required to register with the City of West Allis. This registration process will give City departments the means of contacting those responsible for the foreclosure proceedings and mortgages at issue, those responsible for the inspections required in this section, and those responsible for the securing and maintenance of abandoned property as required in this section. The purpose of the registration fee is to partially recover administrative costs associated with this registry. Nothing in this section shall be construed as waiving, relieving, or otherwise excusing an owner of property from complying with applicable building codes and ordinances. The owner shall at all times comply with applicable building codes and ordinances, and the owner shall at all times remain responsible and liable therefor. Nothing in this section is intended to affect the right to foreclose as provided by state law.
(3) 
Definitions. In this section:
(a) 
"Abandoned property" means any real property that is in mortgage default, bank owned (REO) and/or is vacant as a result of the relinquishment of occupancy, possession or control by a mortgagor and those claiming by, through or under the mortgagor, including tenants, whether or not the mortgagor relinquished equity and title. A property may be deemed abandoned when there is evidence of conditions, taken separately or as a whole, which would lead a reasonable person to conclude that the property is abandoned, including:
1. 
Violation of the lawn regulations as set forth in Section 13.28(10)(b) of the Revised Municipal Code or the weed regulations set forth in Sec. 66.0407 of the Wisconsin Statutes.
2. 
Accumulation of newspapers, circulars, flyers, or mail.
3. 
Past-due utility notices.
4. 
Accumulation of junk, litter, trash, or debris.
5. 
Absence of window treatments, such as blinds, curtains, or shutters.
6. 
Absence of furnishings and personal items.
7. 
Statements by neighbors, delivery agents, or similarly situated persons that the property is vacant.
8. 
Any of the items specified in Sec. 846.102(2), Wis. Stats.
9. 
Violation of the minimum standards for buildings and structures set forth in Section 13.28(9) of the Revised Municipal Code.
10. 
Broken or open doors or windows or the exterior of a building's structure otherwise is not secured from the elements or entry by trespassers.
11. 
Graffiti has not been removed from the buildings, structures, or equipment on the property as required by Section 18.08 of the Revised Municipal Code.
12. 
The buildings, structures, or premises are otherwise dilapidated, deteriorated, or create a dangerous condition.
13. 
Snow and/or ice have been allowed to accumulate and remain on the public sidewalk abutting the property contrary to Section 11.12 of the Revised Municipal Code.
14. 
Any real property located in the City, whether vacant or occupied, that is encumbered by a mortgage in default, is subject to an ongoing foreclosure action by the mortgagee or trustee, is subject to an application for a tax deed or pending tax assessor's lien sale, or has been the subject of a foreclosure sale where the title was transferred to the beneficiary of a mortgage involved in the foreclosure and any properties transferred under a deed in lieu of foreclosure/sale.
(b) 
"Accessible structure" means a building that is accessible through a compromised door, wall, window, or similar building feature and that is unsecured in a manner that allows access to interior space by unauthorized persons.
(c) 
"Agent" means a person or entity, including a servicing company, acting on behalf of the mortgagee regarding the mortgage or mortgage loan, the foreclosure proceedings, or the mortgaged property, including the inspection, maintenance and securing duties required in this section, except that an attorney shall not be deemed to be an agent if the attorney is retained solely to represent the mortgagee or agent in connection with the foreclosure proceedings in court.
(d) 
"Department" means the City of West Allis Department of Building Inspection and Neighborhood Services.
(e) 
"Director" means the Director of the City of West Allis Department of Building Inspection and Neighborhood Services.
(f) 
"Foreclosure" means the process prescribed by Chapter 846, Wis. Stats. and the process for nonjudicial sale authorized by a power of sale clause in a mortgage.
(g) 
"Mortgage" means a written instrument creating a lien on real property whereby the property is used as security or collateral for performance of an act or payment of funds. For purposes of this section, mortgage also includes a land contract.
(h) 
"Mortgagee" means the person or entity that lends money to a borrower for the purpose of purchasing a piece of real property or the person or entity to which the mortgage has been granted or assigned.
(i) 
"Mortgagor" means the person or entity that obtained a mortgage to purchase or refinance a piece of real property.
(j) 
"Occupied property" means a residential property with a structure on which any person, including an owner, operator, or tenant, but not a trespasser, lives, sleeps, cooks, or otherwise maintains actual possession.
(k) 
"Person" means any person, firm, organization, or corporation.
(l) 
"Residential property" means a property used in whole or in part for residential purposes, including single-family, two-family, and multifamily dwelling; mixed-use commercial and residential structures, but not residential condominium units.
(m) 
"Servicing company" means a person or entity that provides services to the mortgagee or to an agent of a mortgagee, including debt servicing, collection of payments, administration of escrow and insurance accounts, managing loss mitigation, foreclosing, and securing and managing properties on behalf of the mortgagee or the mortgagee's agent.
(4) 
Registration Required.
(a) 
Within five (5) working days of filing with the court of the foreclosure proceedings against a residential property, the mortgagee or agent shall register the property in the name of the mortgagee with the Department on a form or by an electronic process prescribed by the Director. This form shall include all of the following:
1. 
Information identifying the property by address and tax key number.
2. 
The mortgagor of record and the mortgagee of record.
3. 
The Register of Deeds recording document number for the mortgage being foreclosed and the date of recording.
4. 
The current owner of the note or instrument secured by the mortgage, and the registered agent and registered office for that owner.
5. 
The date of recording of the lis pendens for commencement of the foreclosure proceedings.
6. 
The case number of the foreclosure action and the plaintiff in the foreclosure action.
7. 
The servicing company or other agent acting on behalf of the mortgagee, and the registered agent and registered office for that servicing company or agent.
8. 
Contact information for a person with the mortgagee or agent who will be responsible for inspecting, securing, and maintaining the property as required under this section.
(b) 
A mortgagee or agent for a residential property in foreclosure proceedings for whom the proceedings were initiated prior to the effective date of this section and who remains subject to the foreclosure proceedings shall register with the City within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this section. The mortgagee or agent shall be subject to the requirements of this section, except for the initial inspection under Subsection (7)(a).
(5) 
Amendment. Within twenty (20) days of a change in information for the registration of a property, including a change in ownership of the mortgage or a change in agent, servicing company or contact person, the mortgagee or the mortgagee's agent shall file an amended registration with the Department on a form or by an electronic process prescribed by the Director.
(6) 
Termination of Registration.
(a) 
To terminate a registration, the mortgagee or the mortgagee's agent shall file a registration termination with the Department on a form or by an electronic process prescribed by the Director within ten (10) days of either of the following, whereupon the duties of the mortgagee or the agent under this section shall cease:
1. 
A court-confirmed sale of the property in foreclosure with the deed having been issued in the foreclosure proceedings and the deed or evidence of the deed having been recorded in the Register of Deeds office.
2. 
A court order dismissing the foreclosure proceedings and a discharge of the lis pendens having been recorded in the Register of Deeds office.
(b) 
The mortgagee or agent shall provide in the termination filing the Register of Deeds recording information for one (1) of the following:
1. 
The deed or the evidence of the deed, as provided in Subsection (6)(a)(1).
2. 
The lis pendens discharge, as provided in Subsection (6)(a)(2).
(c) 
If the court dismisses the foreclosure proceedings due to a discharge or satisfaction of the mortgage, the mortgagee or agent shall also provide with the termination filing the Register of Deeds recording information for the discharge or satisfaction of the mortgage.
(7) 
Inspection of Abandoned Property.
(a) 
Initial Inspection. Whenever a mortgagee or agent initiates foreclosure proceedings against a property, the mortgagee or agent shall cause a physical inspection to be made of the property not later than thirty (30) days from the date of filing of the foreclosure proceedings. One (1) or more photographs shall be taken of the property accurately portraying the condition of the exterior premises. Photographs shall be dated and preserved.
(b) 
Periodic Inspections. The mortgagee or agent shall perform a reinspection of the property subject to the foreclosure proceedings at least once every thirty (30) days following the initial inspection until a registration termination is filed. One (1) or more photographs shall be taken at each reinspection and shall be dated and preserved.
(c) 
Records. A mortgagee or agent shall maintain written records, including photographs, of any inspection or reinspection required by this section, and, in the case of abandoned property, records of actions taken under Subsection (9). Written records and photographs of inspection and reinspection shall be made available to the Department upon request.
(8) 
Notification of Abandoned Property. If inspection of the property required under Subsection (7) shows the property is abandoned, or if the mortgagee or agent otherwise becomes aware of abandonment, the mortgagee or agent shall file notification of the abandoned property within five (5) business days on a form or by an electronic process prescribed by the Director or his or her designee, that includes a description of the external condition of the property and whether there is an accessible structure on the property. The notification filing shall identify the person authorized by the mortgagee to enter upon the property and to conduct repairs or maintenance and secure access, as required in Subsection (9).
(9) 
Duty to Secure, Maintain, and Post Abandoned Property.
(a) 
The property maintenance duties of a mortgagee or agent with an abandoned property shall be limited to the following:
1. 
Ensuring that there are no accessible structures on the premises.
2. 
Ensuring that there are no conditions upon the property presenting an immediate risk to public health, safety, or welfare, including:
a. 
Removing or abating fire hazards.
b. 
Removing or containing potentially toxic materials and explosives.
c. 
Securing the perimeters of swimming pools, ponds, or other bodies of water.
d. 
Maintaining public walkways and thoroughfares free from ice, snow, mud, and other debris consistent with the requirements of Section 11.12 of the Revised Municipal Code.
e. 
Mowing grass and eliminating weeds and other plant growth consistent with the requirements of Section 13.28(10)(b) of the Revised Municipal Code or the weed regulations set forth in Sec. 66.0407 of the Wisconsin Statutes.
(b) 
A mortgagee or agent shall include a statement in the abandonment notification identifying action taken or planned to be taken to comply with the requirements of Subsection (9)(a).
(c) 
Upon filing notification of the abandoned property or at the time that notification is required to be made, and until there has been a registration termination filed regarding the abandoned property, the Director may make a finding that the condition of the property constitutes an immediate threat to public health, safety and welfare and, upon such finding, may issue a written order to the mortgagee or agent, or both, to abate the condition. Upon failure to comply with the Director's order within ten (10) days, the mortgagee or agent, or both, shall be responsible and shall be subject to a penalty in the same manner and to the same extent as the owner of the property under any of the following Revised Municipal Code sections:
1. 
Sections 7.05 and 7.051, refuse and recycling collection; littering of premises.
2. 
Sections 11.07(7) and 11.12, sidewalks to be kept clean and unobstructed.
3. 
Section 6.015, abandoned vehicles.
4. 
Section 18.03, public nuisances.
5. 
Section 7.035, noise control.
6. 
Section 7.06, noxious chemicals.
7. 
Section 13.35, swimming pools.
8. 
Section 18.08, graffiti abatement.
9. 
Sections 13.28(9) and 13.28(10), maintenance of premises.
10. 
Section 7.14(3), rat harborages.
11. 
Section 13.18, condemnation of unsafe structures.
(d) 
The minimum requirements of a mortgagee or agent for preservation and protection of residential property, absent a specific order of the Director to abate a condition of the premises, shall be consistent with 24 CFR 203.377 and the rules, regulations and other requirements published by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for the preservation and protection of single-family residential properties secured by FHA loans, as those requirements may be amended by FHA mortgagee letters or otherwise, and as applied by the FHA to the State of Wisconsin, including guidelines related to winterization and heating systems. The Director may issue a written order to the mortgagee or agent, or both jointly and severally, to abate the condition. The mortgagee or agent, or both, shall be held liable for failure to abate and for repayment to the City of the reasonable costs incurred by the City related to abatement of conditions that are subject to FHA guidelines specified in this subsection, or which are subject to an order under Subsection (9)(c) and which threaten public health, safety, and welfare.
(e) 
A mortgagee or agent, upon receiving information or determining that the residential property is abandoned, and until the property is no longer abandoned, shall post and maintain signs affixed or adjacent to all entrances to the building indicating:
1. 
The name, address and telephone number of the agent authorized by the mortgagee to be responsible for maintenance and management of the property, as specified under Subsection (8).
2. 
That no trespassing is allowed upon the premises without consent of the agent.
(10) 
Fees.
(a) 
The fee for registration of property pending foreclosure shall be three hundred dollars ($300) and shall be due upon registration.
(b) 
The registration form and fee may be transmitted electronically or by any other means to be determined by the Director or his or her designee. The annual registration shall be valid from the date the property was initially obligated to register pursuant to the governing ordinance, the registration form is completed and filed with the Department or its designee and the registration fee is received by the Department or its designee.
(c) 
There shall be no fee for filing an amended registration or for filing a registration termination.
(11) 
Penalties.
(a) 
Failure to Register or to File Amendment. Any mortgagee or agent that fails to register as required under Subsection (4), fails to file an amendment as required under Subsection (5), or fails to file a termination as required under Subsection (6), shall be jointly and severally responsible, and, upon conviction, shall forfeit not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than two thousand dollars ($2,000), together with the cost of the prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the person shall be imprisoned in the Milwaukee County House of Correction until such forfeiture and costs are paid, but not more than the number of days set forth in Section 800.095(1)(b)1 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Each and every day that an offense continues constitutes a separate offense.
(b) 
Failure to Inspect. Any mortgagee or agent that fails to inspect or reinspect a property as required under Subsection (7) shall be jointly and severally responsible, and, upon conviction, shall forfeit not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), together with the cost of the prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the person shall be imprisoned in the Milwaukee County House of Correction until such forfeiture and costs are paid, but not more than the number of days set forth in Section 800.095(1)(b)1 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Each and every day that an offense continues constitutes a separate offense.
(c) 
Failure to Notify about Abandoned Property. Any mortgagee or agent that fails to file notification of an abandoned property as required under Subsection (8) shall be jointly and severally responsible and, upon conviction, shall forfeit not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) together with the cost of the prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the person shall be imprisoned in the Milwaukee County House of Correction until such forfeiture and costs are paid, but not more than the number of days set forth in Section 800.095(1)(b)1 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Each and every day that an offense continues constitutes a separate offense.
(d) 
Failure to Secure and Maintain Abandoned Property. Any mortgagee or agent having a duty to register abandoned property that fails its duty to secure and maintain the property as required under Subsection (9) shall be jointly and severally responsible, and, upon conviction, shall forfeit not less than eight hundred dollars ($800) nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), together with the cost of the prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the person shall be imprisoned in the Milwaukee County House of Correction until such forfeiture and costs are paid, but not more than the number of days set forth in Section 800.095(1)(b)1 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Each and every day that an offense continues constitutes a separate offense.
(e) 
Failure to Maintain Records or to Post. Any mortgagee or agent that fails to maintain or provide records required in Subsection (7), or to post signage as required in Subsection (9) shall be jointly and severally responsible, and, upon conviction, shall forfeit not less than one hundred dollars ($100), nor more than five hundred dollars ($500), together with the cost of the prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the person shall be imprisoned in the Milwaukee County House of Correction until such forfeiture and costs are paid, but not more than the number of days set forth in Section 800.095(1)(b)1 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Each and every day that an offense continues constitutes a separate offense.

18.11 Registration of Real Property with Mortgage Loans in Default.

[Ord. O-2015-0042, 9/1/2015; Ord. O-2016-0018, 3-15-2016]
(1) 
Findings. The Common Council recognizes the findings in Section 18.10(1), and further finds that a significant relationship exists among mortgage loan defaults, blighted properties, and decline and disinvestment in neighborhoods. Property owners in default under mortgage loans face financial difficulty, may face foreclosure or collection proceedings, and may struggle to remain in ownership or to maintain or repair their properties, leading to code violations and public health, safety, and welfare concerns. Without the registration requirement of this section, mortgagees and agents might not provide address-specific default information. Registration of properties in mortgage loan default may help connect borrowers to beneficial information, programs, and resources, including those provided by nonprofit organizations and other third-party providers, such as credit counseling and information about foreclosure avoidance, loan modification, forbearance, repayment plans, and refinancing possibilities. Registration may also identify properties at risk of disinvestment and decline, future foreclosure, and possible abandonment.
(2) 
Purpose and Scope. The purpose of this section is to establish a registration program to identify properties and owners at risk for foreclosure, risk of being non-code-compliant, or risk of or in abandonment; to identify properties experiencing disinvestment or lack of maintenance and repair; and to provide opportunities for connecting owners to beneficial information, programs, and resources. This section is intended to promote and retain home ownership and occupancy, to reduce blight and disinvestment, and to maintain property values and assessments. It is declared a matter of public policy and an exercise of the City's police power that a mortgagee who has sent a notice of default to a mortgagor regarding a mortgage loan against a property is required to register with the City of West Allis or its designee, periodically inspect the property, and report abandonment. The purpose of the registration fee is to partially recover administrative costs associated with this registry. Nothing in this section shall be construed as waiving, relieving, or otherwise excusing an owner of property from complying with applicable building code or other code provisions, and the owner shall at all times remain responsible and liable therefor. Nothing in this section is intended to affect the right to foreclose on a property as provided by state law or the duty of a mortgagee or agent to preserve and protect property under 24 CFR 203.377, and the rules, regulations and other requirements published by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for the preservation and protection properties secured by FHA loans, as those requirements may be amended by FHA mortgagee letters or otherwise, and as applied by the FHA to the State of Wisconsin, including guidelines related to winterization and heating systems.
(3) 
Definitions. In this section:
(a) 
"Abandoned property" has the definition provided in Section 18.10(3)(a).
(b) 
"Accessible structure" has the definition provided in Section 18.10(3)(b).
(c) 
Agent" means a person or entity, including a servicing company, acting on behalf of the mortgagee regarding the mortgage, the mortgage loan in default, or the mortgaged property, including acting to perform the inspection and other duties required in this section, except that an attorney shall not be deemed to be an agent if the attorney is retained solely to represent the mortgagee or agent in connection with the default or enforcement of remedies regarding the default.
(d) 
"Default" means a default by the mortgagor to the mortgagee or owner of the note of loan payments or other covenants that caused the mortgagee or agent or servicing company to send a notice of default to the mortgagor; the sending of which will permit foreclosure against the residential property if the default is not cured.
(e) 
"Department" has the definition provided in Section 18.10(3)(d).
(f) 
"Director" has the definition provided in Section 18.10(3)(e).
(g) 
"Foreclosure" has the definition provided in Section 18.10(3)(f).
(h) 
"Loan" means the debt, repayment of which is secured by the mortgage.
(i) 
"Mortgage" has the definition provided in Section 18.10(3)(g).
(j) 
"Mortgagee" has the definition provided in Section 18.10(3)(h).
(k) 
"Mortgagor" has the definition provided in Section 18.10(3)(i).
(l) 
"Occupied property" has the definition provided in Section 18.10(3)(j).
(m) 
"Person" has the definition provided in Section 18.10(3)(k).
(n) 
"Residential property" has the definition provided in Section 18.10(3)(l).
(o) 
"Servicing company" has the definition provided in Section 18.10(3)(m).
(4) 
Registration Required. Within five (5) working days after the mortgagee or agent sends a notice of default to the mortgagor regarding a mortgage loan, the mortgagee or agent shall register the property in the name of the mortgagee with the Department or its designee on a form or by an electronic process prescribed by the Director that includes:
(a) 
Information identifying the property by address and tax key number.
(b) 
The mortgagor of record and mortgagee of record.
(c) 
The Register of Deeds recording document number for the mortgage and the date of recording.
(d) 
The current owner of the note or instrument secured by the mortgage and the registered agent and registered office for that owner.
(e) 
The date the notice of default was sent to the mortgagor.
(f) 
The servicing company or other agent acting on behalf of the mortgagee and the registered agent and registered office for that servicing company or agent.
(g) 
Contact information for a person with the mortgagee or agent responsible for inspections required under this section.
(h) 
Contact information for a person with the mortgagee or agent who can provide an itemization of amounts needed to cure the default and information regarding foreclosure avoidance or loss mitigation programs or options offered by the mortgagee or agent.
(i) 
Whether the mortgagee or agent collects money in escrow for payment of property taxes or insurance against the property.
(5) 
Amendment. Within twenty (20) days of a change in information in the registration, including a change in the ownership of the mortgage or a change in agent, servicing company, or contact person, the mortgagee or agent shall file an amended registration with the Department or its designee on a form or by an electronic process prescribed by the Director.
(6) 
Termination. The mortgagee or agent shall file a registration termination with the Department or its designee on a form or by an electronic process prescribed by the Director within ten (10) days of any of the following, whereupon the duties of the mortgagee or the agent under this section shall cease:
(a) 
A cure or satisfaction of the default, by means other than a deed to the mortgagee or agent, whether by payment, loan modification, loan refinancing, repayment plan, or short sale with a recorded satisfaction of the subject mortgagee and a recorded deed or evidence of a deed to a person other than the mortgagee or the mortgagee's agent.
(b) 
If there has been a recorded deed from the mortgagor to the mortgagee or agent, upon the recording of a subsequent deed in the Register of Deeds office from the mortgagee or agent to a third party.
(c) 
A recorded mortgage satisfaction concerning the mortgage loan in default.
(d) 
Registration under Section 18.10 due to initiation of proceedings to foreclose the mortgage.
(7) 
Inspection of Property.
(a) 
Initial Inspection. Whenever a mortgagee or agent registers a loan in default under this section, the mortgagee or agent shall cause a physical inspection to be made of the property not later than thirty (30) days from the date of registration. One (1) or more photographs shall be taken of the property accurately portraying the condition of the exterior premises. Photographs shall be dated and preserved.
(b) 
Periodic Inspections. The mortgagee or agent shall perform a reinspection of the property subject to the default at least once every sixty (60) days following the initial inspection until such time as a registration termination is filed. One (1) or more photographs shall be taken at each reinspection and shall be dated and preserved.
(c) 
Records. A mortgagee or agent shall maintain written records, including photographs, of any inspection or reinspection required by this section, including records relating to Subsection (6). Written records and photographs of inspection and reinspection shall be made available to the Department upon request.
(8) 
Notification of Abandoned Property. If inspection of the property required under Subsection (7) shows the property is abandoned, or if the mortgagee or agent otherwise becomes aware of abandonment, the mortgagee or agent shall file notification of the abandoned property within five (5) business days on a form with the Department or its designee or by an electronic process prescribed by the Director that includes a description of the external condition of the property, whether there is an accessible structure on the property, and the contact information for a person with the mortgagee or agent responsible for inspection and securing of the property. If there is an accessible structure, the mortgagee or agent shall secure it so there are no accessible structures.
(9) 
Fees.
(a) 
The fee for registration of property with a mortgage loan in default shall be three hundred dollars ($300) and shall be due upon registration.
(b) 
The registration form and fee may be transmitted electronically or by any other means to be determined by the Director or designee. The annual registration shall be valid from the date of the initial obligation to register the property pursuant to City Ordinance, the registration form is completed and filed with the Department or its designee, and the registration fee is received by the Department or its designee.
(c) 
There shall be no fee for filing an amended registration or for filing a registration termination.
(10) 
Penalties.
(a) 
Failure to Register or to File Amendment. Any mortgagee or agent that fails to register as required under Subsection (4), fails to file an amendment as required under Subsection (5), or fails to file a termination as required under Subsection (6), shall be jointly and severally responsible, and, upon conviction, forfeit not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than two thousand dollars ($2,000), together with the cost of the prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the person shall be imprisoned in the Milwaukee County House of Correction until such forfeiture and costs are paid, but not more than the number of days set forth in Section 800.095(1)(b)1 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Each and every day that an offense continues constitutes a separate offense.
(b) 
Failure to Inspect. Any mortgagee or agent that fails to inspect or reinspect a property as required under Subsection (7) shall be jointly and severally responsible, and, upon conviction, forfeit not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), together with the cost of the prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the person shall be imprisoned in the Milwaukee County House of Correction until such forfeiture and costs are paid, but not more than the number of days set forth in Section 800.095(1)(b)1 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Each and every day that an offense continues constitutes a separate offense.
(c) 
Failure to Notify about Abandoned Property. Any mortgagee or agent that fails to file notification about abandoned property as required under Subsection (8) shall be jointly and severally responsible, and, upon conviction, forfeit not less than eight hundred dollars ($800) nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), together with the cost of the prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the person shall be imprisoned in the Milwaukee County House of Correction until such forfeiture and costs are paid, but not more than the number of days set forth in Section 800.095(1)(b)1 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Each and every day that an offense continues constitutes a separate offense.
(d) 
Failure to Secure Accessible Abandoned Property. Any mortgagee or agent having a duty to file notification of abandoned property that fails its duty to secure the property as required under Subsection (8) shall be jointly and severally responsible, and, upon conviction, forfeit not less than eight hundred dollars ($800) nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), together with the cost of the prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the person shall be imprisoned in the Milwaukee County House of Correction until such forfeiture and costs are paid, but not more than the number of days set forth in Section 800.095(1)(b)1 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Each and every day that an offense continues constitutes a separate offense.
(e) 
Failure to Maintain Records. Any mortgagee or agent that fails to maintain records required in Subsection (7) shall be jointly and severally responsible, and, upon conviction, forfeit not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500), together with the cost of the prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the person shall be imprisoned in the Milwaukee County House of Correction until such forfeiture and costs are paid, but not more than the number of days set forth in Section 800.095(1)(b)1 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Each and every day that an offense continues constitutes a separate offense.