April 30, 2014
Reiss on Abandoned Homes
Interest.com quoted me in How to Deal with An Abandoned Home. It reads in part,
5 places to look for help
An abandoned home in an otherwise thriving neighborhood can be an eyesore – or worse.
What happens if the lawn goes uncut for weeks or months? If a pipe bursts inside? If a squatter takes up residence?
This abandoned property can quickly move from nuisance to become a real hazard. And if you’re trying to sell your home, an empty property next door can scare away potential buyers, or lead to lower bids than if your neighbor maintained that property.
You don’t need to fight this battle alone, though.
There are resources available to help turn that property around, whether you just want to cut the lawn, or try to get it out of the hands of an owner who is trying to squeeze every dime out of the property, at the expense of your street. Here’s who to call in what situation.
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Call the homeowner’s association
If you’re part of a homeowner’s association, it can help, too.
“HOAs have broad powers to enforce standards for homeowners,” says David Reiss, professor of law at the Brooklyn Law School in New York, where he teaches courses on real estate practice.
How much power they have depends on the HOA’s bylaws, rules and regulations, but HOAs can impose fines for non-compliance with standards laid out in those rules.
“Some might go further and allow and HOA to enter onto a property to conduct maintenance,” Reiss says, which can take care of immediate problems.
He warns, though, that an HOA should consult a lawyer before taking that step, not only to make sure what they’re doing is allowed according to its bylaws, but also because, even if the owner is delinquent on maintenance, they could still accuse the HOA of trespassing or stealing for entering the property.| Permalink