City Hall says they are not to blame for demolishing woman’s property

RICHMOND, Va. — The City of Richmond is saying they are not at fault for partially demolishing a Richmond’s woman’s home last Friday without her knowledge.

The property is located at 1301 North 30th street in Richmond.

Shahida Sohail and her husband purchased the property as a rental investment. Sohail was headed to meet her cleaners at the home on Sunday when they called her to let her know half of her new home was gone.

“This is really unfortunate,” John Walsh, an inspector with the City, told CBS 6.

But Walsh said the city was not to blame for not properly notifying Sohail because they had notified the property’s previous owners via certified mail.  Walsh said court records had not updated by the time the home was demolished; which would have shown the Sohails as owners.

Walsh , and the city believe the previous owners should have notified the Sohails about the pending demolition prior to selling the property.

“The previous owners not only should of informed them they had a legal obligation to do so,” Walsh added.

As of Tuesday evening, Sohail may be still be liable for paying the demolition cost of over $8,000 dollars.

Mike Wallace, a spokesman with the City, had previously said demolition expenses would be covered by the city but following the meeting it became unclear.

“I trust the whole system over here and the whole system destroyed my life,” Sohail said from City Hall Tuesday.

Sohail was there to hear from city planning officials first hand.

But real estate attorney Mark Fleckenstein said Virginia is a very difficult state for buyers to win legal cases in – that is because few mandatory disclosure laws exist.

“Buyer beware,” Fleckenstein said Tuesday. “All the sellers have to do is step back and let the buyers do all the investigating.”

Sohail has vowed to fight the issue in the courts.

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