- The Washington Times - Monday, January 13, 2003

SEVERN, Md. (AP) A landlord who has battled health inspectors and other landlords about housing-code violations must sell his properties by next month, a federal judge ordered.
Mohammad Zuberi will sell his 30 properties for $40,000 each to a Virginia Army officer, according to a contract approved Friday by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge E. Stephen Derby.
If the sale doesn't close by Feb. 10, the homeowners association Warfield Condominium Association No. 3 will move forward with a foreclosure auction Feb. 12. The auction was first set for 1998 but was delayed five years because Mr. Zuberi filed for bankruptcy protection.
"They've got a contract that's not as pure as it might be, but the purchaser has waived his contingencies," the judge told Warfield attorney Carolyn Krohn. "Either you set a closing date, and you get your money, or you go to foreclosure and get your money."
Under the sale contract, Mr. Zuberi must pay the homeowners association the $80,000 in condominium fees he owes.
Miss Krohn questioned the contract's soundness, saying that several homes have recently sold for less than $20,000.
She also said, "Zuberi owns the properties. We don't get to choose who gets to buy them."
The 30 homes have had more than 1,000 housing code violations, including rotting wood and peeling paint, and plumbing and electrical problems.
Nearly all are vacant, the result of an Anne Arundel County Health Department order that prohibits Mr. Zuberi from renting until he makes repairs.
Lt. Col. James Dickey said he wants to buy the homes, repair them and rent them again. He plans to borrow $1.6 million to purchase the three-bedroom units "as is" and to cover additional costs.
"I'm paying that price because I'm serious about it," he said. "I know how to increase the value of the property, and there will be drastic improvement."

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