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Shady deal goes down before property demolished

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This is where Allen Tatsch rested his head at night.

For six years, the house at 201 west Applegate Drive was his home.

Before that, his dad lived here for 40 years.

"If he was standing here...I wouldn't even look at him," said Allen.

Austin code compliance has been investigating the property for years.

Allen said, "Everything went sour...sour grapes." 

At one point, code enforcement investigators say there were between 16 and 18 people living on the property.

I asked, "They were living in the house with you?"

"No, not with me. I had moved away. I was renting it out," Allen answered.

In the past eight years, there have been more than 200 complaints filed through the Austin Police Department for drugs, aggravated assault and cruelty to animals.

The order to demolish the house was handed down by the Building and Standards Commission.

"My mother Frankie died a couple years back in 2008 and I took this thing over in 2008 because they left it to me," said Allen. "Both of them had identical wills...and it was left to me."

I asked him, "Do you have any kind of plan now?"

"I got Humana helping me," replied Allen. "They're trying to help me find a place. I told them I was gonna die in that house."

Chris Pagano says that can't be true because she thought she owned the property.

"I don't know what's going on," said Pagano. "He showed me the property both Saturday and Sunday and walked the property."

She wouldn't tell us how much, but says she gave Allen a down payment on the house.

"He was interested in the finances," Pagano said. "He told me he had had problems with the city in the past, but had corrected all the problems."

County records show Allen is not the true owner.

Pagano said, "He showed me some paperwork that looked like he had a clear title with no encumbrances."

I asked her, "He never told you anything about it being set to be demolished?"

"No," Pagano answered.

Even if he was the rightful owner, city code requires sellers to notify interested buyers of any standing orders against the property and the city.

"He hand-wrote the contract...we both signed it and dated it," said Pagano. "I don't know what happened. I've me a month, till March 17th before I put down any more money."

State law does not put the responsibility on the city, but rather, the owner of the property.

Just make sure you do your research before, giving up any money.

City reps say this property was included in the deceased owner's will, but never divided the property among the four remaining heirs.

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