Homeowners shocked to find new home demolished a week after purchase

Posted at 7:48 PM, Jun 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-23 19:48:34-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Richmond family wants answers after the house they just closed on June 13 was partially demolished by the city Friday.

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.

"She says there's nothing to clean and freaked; I started with a headache I came and I thought I was going to have a heart attack," said the new property owner Shahida Sohail.

Sohail said she and her husband wiped out their $11,000 savings account to purchase the condemned five bedroom house in hopes of generating income for their two severely special needs children.

They knew it needed major renovations and it was sold as-is, but they said they were never notified of the city's plans to tear it down.

notice of violation

The City of Richmond said however, that the home's previous owner did know of plans to tear down the property.  The city said it sent several notifications that the property was an imminent danger including notice of demolition May 1. (insert city doc)

Sohail said she should have also been notified because her name is on the demolition papers that were issued June 16.

"I want this property fixed back -- I don't need a million dollars, no, I need this property to be done back the way it was going to give me my money for my kids," Sohail said.

The city says the transaction is still being updated in its system and they were unaware that the property had been sold.

They say they will know more once they are able to pull a hard copy of the demolition permit Tuesday.

The city maintains that this is a civil issue between the buyer and the seller, and that it was the responsibility of the previous owner to inform Sohail of the impending demolition.

The buyers' agent has reached out to the seller's agent, as has CBS 6, and we did not get a returned call yet.

The Sohail's are scheduled to meet with the city Tuesday.