HGTV’s Nicole Curtis on Why She’s Suing Detroit Land Bank Authority


Nicole Curtis, HGTV’s Rehab Addict Rescue star, takes legal action after the Detriot Land Bank Authority received the deed for a property for which it has paid maintenance and taxes since 2017.

Curtis filed the lawsuit in Wayne County Circuit Court on Friday, according to The Detroit News. She argues that she is entitled to ownership of this property because she believed she owned it – or at least should be compensated for the money she invested in it.

In 2017, her company (Detroit Renovations LLC) acquired the property in a private sale. However, the following year the DLBA contacted her to inform her that the bank did indeed own the title of the property. DLBA told WXYZ that prior to Curtis buying the home, it had sued the previous owners as part of an anti-harassment program for legal property because the home was in poor condition. The DLBA had won the case and acquired the title on the house before Curtis completed the purchase. In addition, a judgment was passed in favor of the DLBA last August. Last month, DLBA put the property up for sale for $ 40,000. If Curtis wanted it back, she had to bid on it.

In her lawsuit, Curtis says she bought the house with the intent of spending “hundreds of thousands of dollars” on restoring it, and that she maintained it, insured it, and paid its taxes. Furthermore, the lawsuit argues that their investment has increased the property’s value significantly over the next several years – and as a result, DLBA will “benefit directly from the years of work, expertise and money” that their company has put into the house.

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A Curtis representative also shared additional details with House Beautiful regarding Curtis’ decision to take legal action. In February 2018, when DLBA contacted Curtis to claim ownership of the house, a title company conducted a title search and found no legal claims that this was true. Curtis started emailing the DLBA director for clarification. However, the DLBA was reorganized and never came back to it. The HGTV star, who had planned to spend $ 500,000 renovating this home, paused until everything was sorted out. It wasn’t until March 2020 (2 years later) that the DLBA re-addressed the issue and reached out to Detroit Renovations to re-claim that it owned the property.

Curtis was confused about why the DLBA had been silent for so long and why they had to pay taxes, insurance, and maintenance fees on the property when the DLBA claimed it never owned it. Now that the property is on the market in the hands of DLBA, Curtis wants to be compensated for the money she has spent refurbishing the house since 2017 – and is disappointed that it is a lawsuit.

“There’s nothing I want more than to see vacant houses being condominiums,” Curtis said in a statement from her team. “I was the DLBA’s biggest supporter when it was first developed, when I was asked to weigh up the processes as our team has helped other cities succeed. Never in a million years would I have believed I was in would be an opponent. ” I only gave my legal team permission to intervene as a last resort. This has been an on-going battle for over 3 years and I was hoping to calmly resolve it. “

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Kelly is the news writer at House Beautiful, where she covers a bit of everything from decoration trends and must-have items to anything that includes donuts or glitter.

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Dusty Kennedy