What action can be taken to have abandoned house cleaned up?

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What action can be taken to have abandoned house cleaned up?

Owner of the other half of my townhouse has abandoned his half. The property is
falling into disrepair and the smell from the house is repugnant. I think wild
animals like raccoons or opossums are getting in.
What can be done to get owner or the city to have place cleaned up?

Asked on April 18, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can report them to the city, which may choose to ticket them (e.g. issue summonses) for health, etc. code violations--but that's typically all the city can do: issue tickets. If getting tickets for violations doesn't encourage them clean up, maintain, etc. the property, there is often nothing else the city can do. Penalizing people for code violations is the city's main tool to enforce compliance, but some people are not sufficiently motivated to avoid tickets as to take action.
If the state of disrepair of his home damages your home or costs you some provable costs--e.g. wild animals chew through a wall from his attic to yours, forcing you to exterminate and patch a hole--you can sue him for that, but unfortunately, all you can do is sue for damages, costs, losses, etc. he causes you: you have no right otherwise to tell someone what to do or not do with his property.


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