Find the right lawyer now

Blighted Property Lawyers

Find a Local Real Estate Lawyer near You

What Is Blighted Property?

"Blighted property" is the legal term for land that is in a dilapidated, unsafe, and unsightly condition. Each state uses different criteria to determine whether property should be classified as blighted. Common criteria include:

  • The property is uninhabitable
  • The property is unsafe
  • The property has been abandoned for a specified time period (usually at least 1 year)
  • The property presents an imminent danger to other people or property

What Can Be Done If I Live Next to Blighted Property?

Virtually every state, county, and urban locality has a law regarding blighted property. If blighted property is a problem in your area, it should be reported to the proper local government body. Depending on where you live, this could be the city or town hall, they mayor's office, or the Department of Housing.  Some larger municipalities even have task forces dedicated specifically to the issue of blighted property. A representative of your city or town hall should be able to inform you of who to notify. 

Local authorities will typically investigate the property to determine if it meets the legal criteria for being considered blighted. The owner of the property will be found, notified, and given the chance to make voluntary repairs to correct the problems. If the owner does not comply voluntarily, local authorities can then correct the problem themselves, and bill the owner of the property for the costs involved.  

Seeking Legal Help for Blighted Property

If you are the owner of property that is determined to be blighted, there are several options you have. If the repairs needed to correct the violations are relatively minor, the easiest solution is to make the repairs voluntarily. If the repairs are extensive, many localities offer loans and tax abatement to assist you in making the repairs. 

However, if you disagree with the finding that your property is blighted, you should contact a real estate lawyer. A lawyer can help you determine the appropriate method of appealing the decision. Additionally, if the locality makes repairs to your property, they will take you to court to recoup their costs, and you will need an experienced attorney to help defend your case.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 04-12-2018 11:10 PM PDT

Law Library Disclaimer
  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service
What is LegalMatch?

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.