Jump to content
Displaced Texan

NJGF property lawyers....get in here please.

Recommended Posts

Pardon the long post.....

I live in Stratford township, and catty corner to me, is a house that has been abandoned for many (10+) years. The old guy who owned it, passed away years ago, and the house has sat vacant, and deteriorating. 

The man had a son (apparently living in Ca), who for whatever reason, makes zero effort to do anything at all with the property. While the township cuts the grass (and supposedly back bills the owner, or someone), the property has deteriorated beyond any chance of reasonable repair. 

A few years ago, someone broke into the house and cut out all the copper pipes. There are broken windows, that I have personally witnessed raccoons and other vermin enter. The roof is on the verge of a cave in. Up until last week, there were bushes (HUGE weeds, actually) that covered the front of the house to the point it was almost completely obscured. The back yard, is a HUGE mess, and there are 2 abandon cars in the driveway. 

Not only does this house lower the property values of everyone on the block, but because of the vermin entering the house, it presents a real health hazard to those of us in the community. 

The township, while they DO mow the grass, (pardon my language), has been absolutely tits on a bull regarding taking any action on this house. 

I’d like to sell my house in the next 2 years, and I know that, because of this property, I’m going to have a hard time selling, and/or take a big hit on the house price. So will my neighbors. 

What, if anything, can be done?

Adverse possession? A class action lawsuit against the township and the owners was discussed, for loss of property values. Ultimately, I’d like the township to take adverse possession of the property and bulldoze the house (I will...if it comes right down to it), but am not sure how to get the process started. WTF can we do?! Get the Board of health involved? 

Its an absolute disgrace. 

Some cursory pics of the house in question. You can see the roof, mold on the window, rotting cars, and other such mess. I tried to get a pic of the raccoon I saw enter the broken basement window, but he had scurried off somewhere. 

Note that the ‘bushes’ in front of the house used to nearly completely cover the front of the house. There are pieces of old fence that are now covering the Bilko doors to the basement, where someone broke into the house to cut out the pipes. 

 

Thank you in advance for any serious advice. 

DF438F46-CF81-4C21-9550-B24AF25CF0B4.jpeg

ED6C4C83-0769-4F17-A3BF-9780FD128FAE.jpeg

6B56A9DC-020C-42C6-BFCB-8EC5A5149DE7.jpeg

88872D1B-2A8C-4CE6-8F6B-A1753464EFC7.jpeg

CF3E5D0B-1B92-4989-BA99-ED9283636BB6.jpeg

4E78ECF8-2CD4-47C6-B9E8-F1F1610BF417.jpeg

C37E1E75-9FE5-435B-BFD2-F831B0FDB4A2.jpeg

A86B8EA4-4614-42F3-B6A0-60A442ABEA07.jpeg

9075ADC7-D4B2-497F-8ED3-6E7883B289A9.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definatly call your county health officer and complain about rodent and vermin harboring. 

I was involved with inspecting a similar house in Morris twp for the health officer before the town demolished it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The town can demo the house but I don’t know what the process is. There was a house down the road that they tore down. Presumably because it had been vacant for a decade and had gaping holes in the roof.  We had it marked as an eminent hazard in our system and wouldn’t go near it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some fire departments will burn down abandoned buildings for training purposes.   If the neighboring houses aren't too close and If you can get your local FD interested, they might be able to nudge the town to do what is necessary to make the house available to them.    Still leaves the problem of someone paying for cleanup costs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Displaced Texan said:

I’ll give them $1 for it. And $100 for the house. 

Did you check online to review the property records ? You can easily see who the owner is and if there is a tax lien against it 

 

http://tax1.co.monmouth.nj.us/cgi-bin/prc6.cgi?menu=index&ms_user=monm&district=1301&mode=11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, NJRulz said:

Did you check online to review the property records ? You can easily see who the owner is and if there is a tax lien against it 

 

http://tax1.co.monmouth.nj.us/cgi-bin/prc6.cgi?menu=index&ms_user=monm&district=1301&mode=11

GREAT suggestion! I located the owner, in California. 

Now what to do with that info....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 10X said:

Some fire departments will burn down abandoned buildings for training purposes.   If the neighboring houses aren't too close and If you can get your local FD interested, they might be able to nudge the town to do what is necessary to make the house available to them.    Still leaves the problem of someone paying for cleanup costs.

Not anymore. At least not in NJ.   The safety requirements and EPA regs are insane for a live burn.  They’ll use acquired structures for training but nothing with real fire conditions. 

  • Informative 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, voyager9 said:

Not anymore. At least not in NJ.    

Well, it was worth a shot.

My only experience with a live burn was decades ago in Idaho; I was working on a ranch for the summer, and the owner decided to burn down a small, run-down shed.    It was in a safe location to do so, and we lit it up.   There must have been four or five of us standing around watching it burn, when a fire truck came racing out from town and up the dirt lane where we were standing.   The firemen got out, and just milled around with us once they realized it was a controlled burn.    Finally, the ranch owner asked the driver who called in the fire.

The driver replied that he didn't know, they just got a call for a fire three miles north and a mile west of the bridge.  

We all went back to watching the fire for a moment, and then when the statement sank in, all heads swiveled in unison around to the southeast, where a large column of black smoke could clearly be seen in the distance.   The ranch owner yelled 'we're three miles west and a mile north!!'  The firemen all piled back into the truck and raced off in the direction of the fire call.

I never found out what had burned out there, but they lost a good 20 minutes in responding.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, 1LtCAP said:

YOU SEEN the one on laurel road just before the childcare place? it looks worse than what you pictured

 

No, I haven’t. I’ll take a drive over that way this evening. 

 

To update a little, I’ve found a website to report abandoned or problem homes in the county, and have reported the property. Too bad the township idiots failed to mention this to me, and others, who have complained about this property. Mrs Tex said they probably don’t WANT anyone to know about it. Lol

I also received a phone call from Camden County board of Health. They are sending an inspector out within the next 2 weeks to inspect the property. I’m supposed to follow up with them in 2 weeks. 

Have also sent a ‘very blunt’ email to the township, and code enforcement inspector. I wasn’t an ass (as I usually tend to be), but was pretty blunt about the lack of action by the township on this property. 

I’ll sit back and wait to see what happens for now...if Stratford fails to follow through with a plan of action, myself, and the neighbors are prepared to take it further, and make it painful for the township. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forget adverse possession in this matter.

It is somewhat difficult to advise without a title search. You may find that there is an unsatisfied recorded mortgage on the property and the owner is in default but the bank has not bothered to foreclose and has defaulted on its right to pay the property taxes. A check of the tax rolls would not reveal info regarding the mortgagee, only a title search would.

The town is probably owned lots of $ for taxes and has a first lien.  Maybe the record owner would be willing to deed it to the town and be rid of it??? Then the town would probably demolish it.

The town probably retains the right to demolish it if it is a health and/or safety risk anyway and/or if it qualifies as a public nuisance,.

If all else fails(meaning the town does not do anything to demolish the structure): The town can sell the tax lien at an auction --tax lien certificate-- and the purchaser can foreclose on it  if the owner does not pay the purchaser the amount of the lien plus interest and  do whatever they want with the property.  You would need to determine the amount of  unpaid taxes and if you and your neighbors are interested in purchasing and then foreclosing the lien and then jointly agreeing to demolish the structure at your costs. While this is a possibility there are probably other remedies.

This is outside my practice area so this is general info only. There are probably other remedies available

  • Informative 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just heard from Code in Stratford, as well as the town clerk. 

In short, it was basically a hand manipulation of my genital region from both of them. That’s as nice as I can put it. 

I DID find out the lien holder on the property has filed to foreclose on the property, and the owner has filed a 30 day notice of intent to turn the property over to the lien holder. 

Ideally, the lien holder will demolish the house, as it is worth far less than the cost to make it sale worthy. I’d like the township to work with the neighborhood to ‘convince’ Madison Trust Company to expediently move to demolish, or otherwise sort this property out. I think this can be done via pounding them with code enforcement violations on the town, county, and state level, if I have to push that far. 

Oddly, the house still has electricity.......I see the doorbell shining brightly at night. 

26 minutes ago, Sniper said:

Easy...

Ever hear of Jewish Lightning?

I would never condone that. It’s dangerous to the neighborhood. Besides, I’m too pretty to go to prison. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, SJG said:

The town probably retains the right to demolish it if it is a health and/or safety risk anyway and/or if it qualifies as a public nuisance,.

Thanks for your information. I appreciate you taking the time to write all that. 

I asked the town clerk about this....he said, since the lien holder is about to foreclose, the township would ‘wait and see’ what happens next. 

I can wait a bit....but this old dawg ain’t letting go of this bone. 

Monday, I’m calling Camden County fire inspector. Going to bypass the useless twits in the township. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Displaced Texan said:

Ideally, the lien holder will demolish the house, as it is worth far less than the cost to make it sale worthy.

They'll probably put it up for auction. I've seen a ton more in a lot worse shape go up for auction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Displaced Texan said:

No, I haven’t. I’ll take a drive over that way this evening. 

 

To update a little, I’ve found a website to report abandoned or problem homes in the county, and have reported the property. Too bad the township idiots failed to mention this to me, and others, who have complained about this property. Mrs Tex said they probably don’t WANT anyone to know about it. Lol

I also received a phone call from Camden County board of Health. They are sending an inspector out within the next 2 weeks to inspect the property. I’m supposed to follow up with them in 2 weeks. 

Have also sent a ‘very blunt’ email to the township, and code enforcement inspector. I wasn’t an ass (as I usually tend to be), but was pretty blunt about the lack of action by the township on this property. 

I’ll sit back and wait to see what happens for now...if Stratford fails to follow through with a plan of action, myself, and the neighbors are prepared to take it further, and make it painful for the township. 

I would say, now that you have the property owner's contact info, reach out to them and see what their plans on.  Tell them the state of it and that the state is looking into property.  Ask if they will fix it or want to sell it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Maksim said:

I would say, now that you have the property owner's contact info, reach out to them and see what their plans on.  Tell them the state of it and that the state is looking into property.  Ask if they will fix it or want to sell it.

Madison Trust company is the lien holder, they have filed to foreclose, and the owner, has filed an intent to relinquish the property. 

This should happen any day now, according to the township idiots. We shall see. 

Once the lien holder has possession of the property, I’m going to pester every township, county, and state office that is applicable to cite code and fire violations, until they either demolish it, sell it, or deed it to the township. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Displaced Texan said:

Madison Trust company is the lien holder, they have filed to foreclose, and the owner, has filed an intent to relinquish the property. 

Any idea what the loan balance is? If it's low, make an offer to take the house off the bank's hands.

Then turn it into a rental.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sniper said:

Easy...

Ever hear of Jewish Lightning?

Just post to social media that Stephen Ross is staying there and wait for then Democrat activists to show up with torches and pitchforks. 

10 minutes ago, Sniper said:

Any idea what the loan balance is? If it's low, make an offer to take the house off the bank's hands.

Then turn it into a rental.

Looks better than some AirBNB’s I’ve seen.. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...



×
×
  • Create New...