Wayne County Judge Tim Kenny ruled in Curtis’ favor on Thursday. The judge said her renovation business had recorded a title to the property before a Detroit agency, The Detroit News reported Friday.
Kenny told Curtis to complete the house’s renovation and reduce the risk to the public.
Curtis claimed she spent at least $60,000 to fix the house so far. But the Detroit Land Bank Authority then claimed it was the house’s owner, leading to the court battle.
The newspaper said Curtis ultimately intends to spend $500,000 on the property’s rehab.
EARLIER: HGTV’s Nicole Curtis continues to fight for ownership of a rundown Detroit house she claims she bought, but subsequently discovered was controlled by a city agency.
Curtis’s attorney is accusing the Detroit Land Bank Authority of “misrepresenting material facts” in the latest round of a legal dispute over the property. Royal Oak attorney Jim Rasor made the allegations in a Friday legal filing in Wayne County Circuit Court. Rasor is asking the court to declare Curtis the owner. A hearing is set for Monday.
The filing came after Curtis met with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to discuss her war with the land bank. Curtis claims she spent $60,000 rehabbing the property before learning that the land bank actually held the title. She then sued, claiming she was taken advantage of.
Curtis claims she’s entitled to ownership of the property, or else should be compensated. She claimed she believed she owned the property and committed a substantial investment into its rehab. Curtis’s company, Detroit Renovations LLC, purchased a 1921 foursquare at 451 E. Grand Boulevard in Detroit from a private owner for $17,000 in 2017.
She learned the following year that the Detroit Land Bank Authority actually held the property title. Negotiations to resolve the dispute broke down, and last August, a court judgment was entered in the Land Bank’s favor.
Her work on the home has increased the property’s value, meaning the land bank will “directly benefit from years of labor, expertise, and money” Curtis put into the house.
Things reached a head when the Detroit Land Bank put the house on the market Feb. 26 for $40,000.
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