What if a neighbor’s permitted construction project just stops, unfinished for 6 months?

The town issued planned upgrade permits, job is less than 1/3 completed in over 2 years, place is a crap hole and we adjoin the property. The town says that they have a 5 year permit to complete. Is

there anything we can do since town says they have no control over any of this?

Asked on September 11, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In theory you can bring a "nuisance" suit: "nuisance" in the law in this context is behavior inappropriate for the location, which harms other residents' peaceful enjoyment of their property. It is *possible*, but far from a given, that a court could conclude that failing to complete the work and leaving the lot unkempt, etc. is a nuisance, but generally nuisances are conduct which is *never* appropriate for the area (several cases involve slaughterhouses or factories or junkyards in residential areas), so it is not clear that an otherwise-permitted or appropriate action, like renovations, becomes a nuisance simply by dragging on too long. A court could find for you, but also might not; and since nuisance suits can be expensive, you could go to a lot of time and cost and not win.
If there are any violations of any codes, you could report them for that and they could be fined: e.g. if there are rodents nesting in the  unfinished construction, or if something else about the site violates health or sanitary codes.

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