City Mistakenly Tears Down Man’s Home Then Charges Him $68,000 in Demolition Costs

An Atlanta man who lost his house after the city tore it down by mistake is now facing a lawsuit to have the entire property foreclosed unless he pays the $68,000 demolition costs.

Everett Tripodis’ property in Atlanta’s historic West End is now an empty lot, but until a few months ago he actually owned a home there, one that the city demolished without so much as a warning. Technically, they did send out letters notifying the owner that the property had been labeled unfit for habitation, but they sent them to the wrong address, in a different zip code, about 1.4 miles away. Tripodis and his mother had bought the century-old house as an investment and had been working on remodeling it when the city decided to tear it down. To make matters worse, the city of Atlanta is now suing the owner of the property and threatening to foreclose on the empty land unless he covers the cost of the demolition, $68,000.

Photo: Gene Gallin/Unsplash

“The demolition order itself gave the city and its contractor authority to demolition a home on a completely different street and a completely different zip code,” Tripodis told Channel 2 Action News, adding that the warning letters had gone to another address as well and were ‘returned to sender’. “It blows my mind how they could have mistakenly sent these to the wrong address. I come and meet the contractor one morning, and the whole house is gone. Everything is gone. Nothing but dirt.”

The former homeowner filed a claim for damages, but the city of Atlanta not only denied to pay, claiming that “the city cannot accept responsibility for his matter and therefore cannot pay this claim” but recently filed a lawsuit against him, threatening to foreclose on his property unless he pays the demolition costs.

“When I saw that came from the city, I was quite excited,” Tripodis told Channel 2. “Maybe it was a letter of apology. Maybe it was a check. Maybe they’re going to justly compensate me. I opened it up and realized that they were suing me.”


“After you air the story, after everyone sees it, instead of them fixing the problem, they double down and do it again,” the man added. “It’s like after the slap comes the spit in my face. I’m just frustrated.”

The city is alleging that “the property should be sold at public outcry unless one or more of the interested parties tenders the full redemption amount,” which consists of the original demolition costs plus interest, which totals over $68,000.

Everett Tripodis himself had already sued the city for the wrongful demolition of his property, but his case is stuck in the Fulton Court system, and he only has weeks to respond to the foreclosure suit.

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