Hoboken Legal Beagle – 7/17/2008

7/17/2008:

A bonus Hoboken Legal Beagle entry for today!

What’s up with abandoned buildings?

boarded-up-building.jpg“I have a question about abandoned buildings.

I live next door to a boarded up brownstone, which is the storage and sometime dwelling of some of Hoboken’s homeless. I’ve had the police remove such person, and chased them away myself after finding some destruction to my property. I’m wondering what is the law concerning these unkept, dilapidated dwellings? Is there an owner? Wouldn’t taxes need to be paid? If not, what should the town do?

The backyard is severely overgrown and it grosses me out to think about what is growing or living inside.

Any idea what can be done here?”

411 Legal Beagle says:

Hoboken Hoboken411 Legal BeagleI answered a similar question a while ago where the next door building’s garbage was causing a nuisance. You can refer to that answer for a detailed and for most people, an unrealistic way of bringing in all city agencies and sending certified mails and getting your council person involved to try and help.

But this is an even worse situation, since it is very hard to enforce the laws if the person you are enforcing them against just doesn’t care. And with an abandoned building in Hoboken you have to figure that something is wrong. If I were to take this on as a attorney client matter my initial retainer would be at least $750 to just investigate the matter and then, depending on who owns and is ultimately responsible for the property, could possibly file a lawsuit to compel the upkeep of the property. But then the cost would be at least $2,500 for instituting a lawsuit that may not solve your problem. (and then or course your legal bills become an even a bigger problem! )

I do know the health department will get involved, if they can find the owner. But with abandoned buildings it is never easy to find an owner. This is how neighborhoods deteriorate, one building after another. It happened in Hoboken during the 60’s and 70’s and it was not a pretty site.

Leave a Reply

36 Comments on "Hoboken Legal Beagle – 7/17/2008"


bmoc04
Member
bmoc04
8 years 1 month ago

That may explain 706 but what about 710 Garden? That’s not condemned, just vacant. Owned by the same people. So I guess they are just waiting for the roof to collapse on that one too.

Also, I was told these buildings have been vacant for years. At least one of them has been empty since the early 1970s, and maybe sooner. It takes that long for people to make a decision? Obviously holding them has worked in their favor since real estate values have climbed, but they still gave up lost rent, reinvestment of sales proceeds, and paid all of the due property taxes.

I imagine the real estate vultures in town have already approached the owner(s) with offers. I guess the people just don’t want to deal with it, aren’t ready to deal with it, or don’t really want the money.

dontrashoboken
Member
dontrashoboken
8 years 1 month ago

If that is the building on Garden between 7th and 8th on the west side of the street, here i some background… it was owned by an elderly gentleman who has either lost the ability to care for it and has been moved to an assisted facility or has since passed away. He has/had three children who are in charge of the building and at last questioning, have differing views on what should be done w/ the property. (Sell vs. renovate. vs. keep…) There are likely many emotional issues tied into the logistics.

That being said, it was condemned due to the roof falling in, thus there should not be any dwellers for safety issues at the very least. The owner’s children live either in Hoboken or nearby. At the very least, I would attempt to contact one or all of them and express (in writing, certified, etc.) your concerns. You could even state that if someone were to get injured, it could be their liability, which would make securing the building more of a priority to them.

It is a shame that this once gorgeous brownstone has fallen into such disarray and that you and your neighbors are bearing some of the burden. Hope this helps

hobojoe
Member
8 years 2 months ago

By the way, if I seem like I was unhappy in the first post, well, I kind of was – the other day I was walking on the sidewalk and moved aside to let a speeding biycle rider pass. I brushed against the front of the property and ended up with some nice red crud on my clothes.

hobojoe
Member
8 years 2 months ago

Walter- thank you so much for coming on here to respond. I have seen your signs on other projects which seemed to be moving along OK, so I didn’t know why this one was stuck for months at a time looking like a complete eyesore. The building next door to that one seems to be flying along.

Hopefully the owner will be able to get this back into shape soon. Oh yeah, and next time – maybe cover your sign so you’re not associated with the project when things go downhill like this one 🙂

REDLLC
Member
REDLLC
8 years 2 months ago

My name is Walter Ortiz and I am the owner of RED LLC, I am responding to the comment made by hobojoe earlier today. The property he mentions is 840 Park Ave. We are one of several contractors involved with the project. The owner has faced many challenges as well as being sidetracked by other responsibilities. He has recently hired a Construction Manager to move the project forward. Although we did not wash down the building we think the local contractor did a very nice job. The project is now back on track and we have been awarded several scopes of work including the installation of the front windows and all of the interior finishes. Please visit our web site to see samples of our work. I do understand clearly about the port o potty…not something I would like in front of my neighbors house.I will pass that information forward. I was born and raised in this town and take pride in our work. We are proud to be part of this project and look forward to restoring this once neglected property. Please feel free to contact me regarding this or any project we have in town.

wpDiscuz