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ACT 135: The Blighted and Abandoned Properties Conservatorship Act

Passed November 26, 2008, and becoming effective on February 24, 2009, this Act was designed to use new tools to address blighted and abandoned properties. A building in the municipality can meet the conditions for conservatorship if it is not legally occupied for 12 months, not marketed for 60 days, no foreclosure action, and current owner has obtained the building for longer than 6 months. In addition to those requirements, it must meet three of the following: a public nuisance, need for substantial rehab, unfit for occupancy, increases risk of fire, subject to entry, not secured by owner, attractive nuisance, hazards, decreases property values, and/or illicit activities. If the building within the municipality meets those requirements, the municipality may initiate a conservatorship action.

At that time, a third party conservator can be appointed to take possession of the building and effectuate the necessary rehabilitation and management of the property. A conservator has to have a direct and immediate interest in the blighted building, which may include: being an owner, lien holder, resident or business owner within 500 feet, municipality or school district.

Once a conservator has been appointed, they develop a preliminary plan for the building, take possession of the building, maintain and safeguard the building, develop a final plan to be approved by the Court, and submit status reports.

Some may worry about the rights of the owner of the building, but they will be informed of the current situation. They have a right to respond to the conservator appointment, and have a right to fight against it. However, if the owner wins, they would have to reimburse the conservator for the money they are out, and they would have to responsibly take care of the building in question.

The period of the conservatorship will end when the conservator plan has been fulfilled, the owner takes over land, or a sale has been completed.

This is a great way for municipalities to rid their towns of unwanted abandoned buildings. For further questions, please contact us at Davis & Davis!

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Davis & Davis Attorneys at Law

Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law