Jillian Engel

Following an ownership dispute on several homes, the Butler County Court of Common Pleas is issuing a court-ordered “Absolute Auction” at 10 a.m. Jan. 21 at The Elms Hotel. Student leases of the homes for sale will be maintained under new landlords. (Scott Allison / The Miami Student)

Twenty-one residential properties and one commercial are for sale in Oxford and must be sold at a Butler County Court of Common Pleas court-ordered absolute auction at 10 a.m. Jan. 21 at The Elms Hotel uptown.

Because each property must be sold the day of the auction, Myron Bowling, president and owner of Myron Bowling Auctioneers, said the total value of the homes could amount to a few million dollars.

“This has never happened before in Oxford,” Bowling said. “It’s a desirable real estate market, so it’s quite an event.”

According to Bowling, the issue that caused the auction is “delicate” because it surrounds a family dispute on property ownership.

“There’s a family that put these properties together and have really been working on them and building them up for years,” Bowling said. “There was a dispute in the family. They tried to reach a settlement and were unable to, and the judge in the matter ordered the properties sold as a resolution.”

According to Butler County Court public records, the family’s case was filed in 2006. Since then, their case has been closed and the court-appointed receiver of the case selected Myron Bowling Auctioneers to sell the properties.

Bowling has been working in conjunction with Bowling and Kugler Realty to attract investors to these homes.

The properties for sale include single-family homes, duplexes and apartments with up to 33 units and the old Miami Valley Lumber Co. property on College Avenue.

Bowling said he expects 150 to 200 people to attend the auction.

“We’ve had calls literally from all over the country,” Bowling said.

Bob and Bill Kugler, brothers and real estate agents for Bowling and Kugler Realty, said they’ve been advertising the auction nationwide and have had people calling with inquiries from Chicago, Missouri and Florida.

“(We’ve) almost had more out-of-state phone calls than in-state (because of) students with investor-type parents who are familiar with the territory,” Bowling said. “If they’ve got kids going there (Miami University), it’s an easy investment to handle.”

Although the mega-sized yellow “Absolute Auction” signs have been posted in front of these homes only since December, the Miami students leasing the properties for the school year have known about the auction since summer 2009 when they were informed their landlords would no longer be the Dudley family and would now be Oxford Real Estate until the home is sold to its new owner.

“Originally we signed the lease with the guy who owns the house,” junior Stephanie Winterman said. “We were told I believe over the summer that Oxford Real Estate was going to be managing it (instead). They contacted us to tell us that payments had to go through (Oxford Real Estate).”

Although students living in these properties will have had three different landlords once the homes are sold, both the Kugler brothers and Bowling assured their leases would remain the same.

“All the leases that are signed up for next year will have no changes,” the Kuglers said. “They won’t get kicked out, there will be no changes at all. (New owners) will want the tenants to stay for the income.”