What is the law regarding the neglect of historical property?

UPDATED: Jan 6, 2011

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What is the law regarding the neglect of historical property?

An out-of-state (TX) man purchased an1854 antebellum home here (MS) 10 years ago and has never lived in it. There been any work done to upkeep and repair. The county and surrounding citizens are watching it crumble as time passes and want to know what can and cannot be done to force the owner to repair it or sell it. What legal restrictions or allowances or procedures exist for the community to do something or force him to do something about the house?

Asked on January 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Mississippi


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Has the property been designated as part of an historical trust or an historical property really?  Is there an historical society in your town that handles renovations, etc., of historical properties?  In other areas of the country there are landmark societies that can indeed control how a property is renovated and may in fact be able to bring suit against a homeowner who violates the preservation society rules and laws.  You need to make inquiry as to same in your area and check with a local real estate attorney as to what you can do.  What you can do is report the property if it becomes a hazard in any way and possibly seek condemnation, which would get the attention of the owner, unless he seeks to do so to tear the property down and build something else?  Good luck to you.

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