Family bought Detroit home but was never told it was on demo list

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A family bought the house in 2016 not knowing it was already on Detroit's demolition list. 

The city says although the family bought the house from a private owner, it was the couple's responsibility to check the status of the house before they bought it. 

Stacy Muhsin and her husband had big plans for a Detroit house on W. Arizona Street.  They bought it from Fannie May back in 2016 for $1,500 hoping to fix it up and move their growing family in one day.

"We are in it for the long haul kind of renovate as we build up the money to renovate," she said.

But they never got to that point. Neighbors frantically called last week to let the Muhsins know a contractor began demolishing their house removing fencing, windows, and basically all of the bricks from one of the sides.

"They didn't send us any information, they didn't post anything on the doors of our current address or send us any mail," she said.

The couple rushed there telling crews to stop, showing them the documents proving they owned the house. The contractors notified the city as they worked to get to the bottom of this.

"It is really frustrating, kind of sad and really heartbreaking," Muhsin said.

In 2014 there was a fire and the city received complaints about the property. According to the city, in 2015 it was deemed a dangerous building and placed on the demolition list.

But no one - not Fannie May or the city informed the Muhsins that when they bought it in 2016.

FOX 2: "This is before you even bought it, it was put on the list?"

"We didn't have anything, Fannie May didn't say anything, the city didn't say anything, we paid taxes on it and the city never said 'Hey you just paid taxes on a building we plan to demolish.' They accepted the money and didn't say anything. We never heard anything until our neighbors called."

Jessica Parker, who is the executive manager of Detroit's Building and Safety Maintenance, says it is the potential homeowner’s responsibility to check with the city about the status of the property and whether it is on a demo list.

"When you do purchase a commercial or residential property, we do have a process to pull it off the demo list, so that we can walk you through that process and we can make sure we don't demolish your home, your building without us being notified," said Parker.

So now the Muhsins, who couldn't afford to fix it up in the first place, are now being told if they want to keep their house, they have to pay the city to get it off the demo list and pay to secure it.

"I would like the city to repair it at least bring it back to the way it was," Muhsin said. "Some sort of compensation for the damages they caused. It was because of a lack of checks and balances in their department."

The bottom line is when you buy a property in Detroit, it is up to you to find out if it is on the demo list.