What to do if the owner of an adjacent property to our home will not repair/maintain their house?

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What to do if the owner of an adjacent property to our home will not repair/maintain their house?

A neighbor purchased the home about 1 1/2 years ago. He gutted it and started reframing but has done little else. The home has multiple property violations. Most windows are in various stages of disrepair and some are boarded up. The back screen door does not close and is propped open by bricks. There is construction materials outside the house, bricks, ladders, tubing and other debris. There is an over growth of brush, weeds and bushes. The soffit and facia is rotted wood. There is a car on the pad out back and the battery is outside by the back door. We have made multiple complaints to the Village and there has been little improvement.

Asked on August 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

 

It sounds like there are multiple health violations and health hazards here - the car and the car battery for one - and that you may have to go beyond the Village for help.  Have you tried talking with them?  That is always the best first step. Your city or county public-health department may be able to step in, particularly if trash or other unsanitary conditions are attracting vermin. Tell them about all the obvious unsafe conditions: bricks and ladder, etc.  

If that does not work write or call your elected representatives at the city or county level. Sometimes these folks can kick the bureaucracy into gear. And the EPA on the state level may cone out too with what you have said.  A real-estate attorney can tell you if you can pursue a lawsuit against the neighbor, but typically these are expensive and can drag on for months if not years.  Good luck.

 


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