houses borded up in Cleavelend tell us it’s just a matter of time before this next city falls…

Cleveland has tried, and usually failed, for years to recoup millions of dollars spent demolishing condemned houses. Now some new tactics may be on the way.

The City Council will consider two pieces of legislation aimed at out-of-state investment companies that buy and sell properties in bulk.

One proposal would let the city seek payment for demolition and other expenses from all owners of a house after it’s condemned, not just the last owner in the chain; the other would make it a crime for a company to sell property in Cleveland without registering to do business in the state.

Some of the companies buy and sell dozens of houses, trying to make at least a small profit on each sale, while also trying to avoid responsibility for making repairs, mowing lawns or demolishing condemned properties.

They also can be hard for the city to track, the trail sometimes leading to a post-office box.

Cleveland says it has leveled 4,300 structures since 2008 at a cost of $25.9 million.