• Action 9: Letters may look like they're from the city, but they're not

    By: Jason Stoogenke


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Helms Jarrell got a letter. She saw the envelope and said she thought it was from Charlotte code enforcement.

    The return address said, "Code violation fines and review." The letter itself said the property has code violations. Then it said, "If this property has become too much of a burden, we will pay you cash for the property.” It goes on to say, "Do not let this property weigh you down any longer. Let us buy it, so you can move on with your life and have extra money."

    "It's definitely misleading," Jarrell said to Action 9.

    Jarrell said she had a minor code violation, but it was resolved.

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    The company behind the letter is New Legacy Property Group. At the top of the letter it clearly said, "We are a local investment group." 

    Action 9 emailed New Legacy Monday morning, but hadn't heard back by 5 p.m. Its return address is a P.O. box inside a post office in the University area.

    Jarrell lives in Enderly Park in west Charlotte. Traditionally, it's a low-income neighborhood. But, now, like many communities near Uptown, it's drawing attention from investors.  

    "The culture is, 'This place is not for you and we're going to try to find a way to get you out of here,'" she said.

    Jarrell said it rubs her the wrong way even more than the average homeowner. She runs a nonprofit -- QC Family Tree -- and is part of the West Side Community Land Trust. Both are committed to making sure residents aren't priced out of Charlotte.

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    "We're working in a lot of different ways to try to resist displacement, create affordable housing and keep it affordable long-term, permanently," she said.

    If you think you really have a code violation, don't rely on any mailing. Call the city and find out firsthand.

    The City sent Action 9 this information:

    If you receive a suspicious letter or visit regarding a code enforcement violation on your property, please know that:

    • You can verify an existing open case for your property, by calling 311, visiting the Code Enforcement violation webpage at charlottenc.gov or by contacting the Code Enforcement service area for your neighborhood or its main office in Uptown:
      • Central Service Area, 2550 West Boulevard, (704)398-6769
      • North Service Area, 2730-B Rozzelles Ferry Road, (704)336-5214
      • South Service Area, 3505 Central Avenue, (704)432-5268
      • Old City Hall Administration, 600 E. Trade Street, (704)336-3380
    • The code enforcement process encourages an open line of communication for any resolution. 
    • Ninety percent of code cases are resolved voluntary through education and prevention.
    • The Code Enforcement Division is not involved in the marketing, brokering or solicitation of any sale of property.
    • Code Enforcement staff do not accept money for fines on site and will be identifiable by their City-issued identification and vehicles.

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