What can a homeowner do about the unsightly, hazardous abandones house next door.?

Asked by Lorraine, Cape May County, NJ Sun May 6, 2012

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Gina Chirico, Agent, Fairfield, NJ
Sun May 6, 2012
If its an abandoned house in foreclosure or preforeclosure - it is the banks responsibility in New Jersey to care for the lawns and upkeep of the property even if the bank does not own it yet. I would start by contacting the town and file a formal complaint or any other paperwork the town requires that you file. Each municipality has its own ordinaces for upkeep of property, etc. so your town is a good place to start.
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Ibrahim Hugh…, Other Pro, UNION, NJ
Sun May 6, 2012
Love the answers so far so I'd just like to add this: You can check to see who the owner might be by visiting http://www.njactb.org and Go to 'records search'. You can also contact your town officials (usually code enforcement) and submit a formal complaint in writing.

If those don't yield results, you can contact me with the address and I may be able to retrieve public information on the property owner not 'easily accessible' by the public. I can then forward you the info in case you wish to reach out to the owner and get them to clean and/or repair the property. Or I can reach out to an investor or realtor in my network who will try to reach the owner and purchase the property or assist in selling it (respectively).

I can tell you however that if it's a property that is 'under water' and/or in foreclosure then it will be pretty difficult to get the owner or the foreclosing lender to respond. That's when it pays (as others have responded) to take matters into your own hands (in fact you may wish to do this FIRST). Organize a homeowner's association and/or even a 'vacant house' committee and get the neighbors involved in cleaning and maintaining the property. Good luck and let me know how I can help.

Ibrahim Hughes
Sales Associate
Rock, Realtors
4 Bloomfield Ave
Bloomfield, NJ
Tel: 973-302-7968
Cell: 908-578-1981
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Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Sun May 6, 2012
You can contact your town.city hall and compalin about the hazzard. I also see alot of neighbors who take care of the lawns to make it less unsightly.
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
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Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sun May 6, 2012
#1. When you mow your lawn, mow that one too!
#2. When you see some one in that yard, go introduce yourself. Pictures are a great deterant to loitering.
#3. Wait for someone who is not affected by this house, take care of this for you.
#4. Spend hours and hours fretting about something that you can resolve in minutes.
As Hillary said years ago, "IT takes a community to raise a child."
I would add, "It takes good neighbors to make a community."
Just do what needs to be done. Everyone else will spend their time looking for someone to blame or excuses for their inaction. They don't do that in NJ do they?
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Laura Gianno…, Agent, Manahawkin, NJ
Sun May 6, 2012
Buy it, contact the owner, or town...if it's abandoned but in good condition notify the town so they can assure utilities ect are where they need to be!
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Chris Bezaire, Agent, Cape May, NJ
Sun May 6, 2012
Depends on the municipality. Each town has certain regulations that homeowners must follow in regards to upkeep. Call your local city office and they will be able to direct you to code enforcement. Good Luck!
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