This woman’s Atlanta home was accidentally demolished, and then the city threatened to fine her for the mess. How to protect your largest assets from the unexpected
Susan Hodgson, of Atlanta, recently received the kind of call homeowners fear while on vacation: a panicked neighbor, calling to ask: “Did you hire someone to tear down your house?”
The family property, which had been boarded up but carefully cared for over the past 15 years, was accidentally demolished after a local construction company went to the wrong address.
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Hodgson came home from holiday to find a pile of rubble, which she’s now in a dilemma to clean up.
“I was just left with a big old mess,” she said. He told Fox 5who investigated the case after Hodgson revealed that the contractors initially refused to play ball and fix their mistake.
Here’s what happened and why you should always expect the unexpected when protecting your home.
Happy memories washed away
Fortunately, no one was living on Hodgson’s property at the time of its accidental demolition in October 2023. In fact, it was boarded up for about 15 years before its demise — but Hodgson insisted on keeping it “covered, grass cut, and floored.” The yard was cleaned, the taxes paid…” and so on.
She also said she had happy memories of the house, describing it as a “fun place” where the family spent “a lot of good times”. In particular, it reminded her of her husband who had died years ago.
“It’s hard to believe that someone would think they had the right to go out and tear something up and then walk away,” she said, alleging the contractors did not apologize for their mistake or submit a bid in a timely manner to fix their mistake. When FOX 5 contacted the Atlanta-based contractor, they said they were investigating the matter and working to correct it.
While this was happening, another problem arose from under the rubble. Shortly after the demolition, Hodgson noticed a “stop work order” from the Atlanta Department of City Planning, giving her two weeks to “fix it up, clean it up, get everything done, get the proper permits” — all for the project. She never wanted that.
The city released the following statement To FOX 5: “A correction notice gives the property owner the opportunity to bring the property into compliance. No citation has been issued yet. The building on the property was demolished without a permit which is a violation of city code. The property owner is responsible for his property and any violations that occur on that property .
“Demolishing a property without the owner’s consent or knowledge is not a matter for the City of Atlanta. This is a civil matter between the property owner and the allegedly responsible party.”
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Always expect the unexpected
While the chances of accidental demolition are slim – especially if your home looks good and stable and you’re close to your neighbors – it’s always important to expect the unexpected when it comes to Protect your home.
That’s where home insurance — or renters insurance if you don’t own a home yet — comes into play.
the Insurance Information Institute It lists the main causes of home insurance claims as follows: wind, hail, fire, lightning, water damage, freeze, all other property damage, liability and theft.
Consider water damage, which is one of the most common and expensive home insurance claims — and which can increase in severity if you’re away from your property on vacation.
Generally, if the cause of water damage is sudden and accidental, such as a burst pipe, your homeowners or renters insurance policy will cover water-related damage to the structure of your home and personal property. In the case of renters insurance, it may also be helpful to cover the costs of water damage you cause to others.
Of course, not all risks are covered—water damage from floods typically isn’t covered by a home insurance policy—but for a relatively small premium, you can rest easy and go on vacation knowing that you (probably) will still be standing when you get back. .
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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. They are provided without warranty of any kind.
(tags for translation) Susan Hodgson