Baltimore City enacted a law in June that will give inspectors the power to slap rehabbers and others who are too lazy or cheap to obtain the proper building permits — and we hope the City will be aggressive with collection efforts.

We found it rather amusing to note that Bill Fell, president of the “Baltimore Real Estate Investors Associationadvises his members to simply keep the front door closed if they’re rehabbing a property without permits:

“This balto city govt now is really clamping down on rehabbers keep the doors closed while working if your doiung repairs without permits . Our investor friendly city govt will hit yoy with a 5k fine”

Bad advice from "expert" Bill Fell.
Bad advice from "expert" Bill Fell.

Also interesting to note that Bill is teaching a “meal and deal” seminar on how to make big bucks in the rehab market.  One of the tips you’ll receive for your $19 or $29 fee is “how to avoid ending up in the ‘hood”.  Assuming you’re too stupid to use Google Maps, it might be worth the money (!).

We’d like to remind Mr. Fell, however, that if it wasn’t for “the ‘hood”, a large number of his members wouldn’t be making any money at all.  Slumlords tend to buy in neighborhoods where they think nobody’s paying attention — and that usually means a marginal neighborhood.  Major construction projects (aka “gut jobs”) don’t go unnoticed in neighborhoods where people are watching, so we wouldn’t take Mr. Fell’s advice to “keep the doors closed” — get your permits…or else.