When can a municipality force a homeowner to tear down his house?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

When can a municipality force a homeowner to tear down his house?

A house was damaged by a hurricane and the town demanded that the house be torn down at the owners expense. There was no option to fix or rebuild. The demand came with a 48 hour deadline.

Asked on September 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If there is a significant health and safety reason for tearing down the house, there usually must be some sort of court order to force the matter. So the municipality sent you an order or a letter. Look at exactly what you have. It may be an issue that there is so much structural damage that a repair or rebuild is not sufficient or effective but keep in mind you need to review the enforceability of what you received. It doesn't appear that the town had enough time to get a court order to do this so either speak to the municipality of what you received or immediately talk to your homeowner's insurance company to see if it would have counsel to represent you or consult with your attorney who specializes in government administrative actions.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption