Can unused cars be considered building code hazards?

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Can unused cars be considered building code hazards?

The inspector sent my mom a notice that unused cars need to be removed. Is this IL state law? They are all in my mom’s backyard but they don’t have updated stickers. Can we just buy stickers and they’ll be OK?

Asked on October 12, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There are several possible reasons for objection: a state law, a municipal code (i.e. a town or city law), even the common law, if the cars are viewed as a nuisance. There are also several grounds under which there could be a requirement to remove them, including rules relating to registering cars and insurance, laws specifically about abandoned vehicles, something relating to pollution or physical hazards, or even aesthetic reasons--violating some code about how property has to be kept up, or somehow infringing on neighbors rights. Rather than guess, ask the inspector for the reason they have to renewed...very politely and  professionally, ask him or his office if they can tell you the law or code requiring the cars' removal. Then you can look that up and see what, if anything, you would need to do to address the concern. Government employees will usually be helpful if you approach them respectfully, and it's better to know the exact issue in this case than speculate.


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