Abandoned, vacant, and neglected properties are common around Pittsburgh. All too often, we connect with property owners who haven’t seen or done anything with their properties in several years.
Let’s discuss why you should never do this, and if you have done it, why you should take action immediately.
The reason why people do this is because the property may need costly repairs and have issues, there may be mortgage or tax default, or the property was taken over by squatters and non-paying tenants.
You can’t just abandon a property without risking or facing ugly consequences. Perhaps the biggest consequence is legal liability.
As long as a property is in your name, you are held legally liable for it. Imagine if someone were to enter the property, and claim that they became severely injured when meandering on your property, and you find out by receiving a startling piece of mail regarding a lawsuit from a personal injury attorney. There are unfortunately predatory people out there who look for opportunities like this to take advantage of.
Other important reasons why you should never abandon a property you no longer want:
- risk of vandalism
- animal/pest damage
- water and moisture/mold damage from neglected roof/gutters
- frozen and busted pipes from not controlling the temperature of the home or a brutal winter
- Abandoned and vacant properties deteriorate faster
- Easy target for a “midnight plumber” (someone who breaks in, breaks open your drywall, and steals your pipes to scrap for quick cash)
- risk of code violations, fees, fines, and legal threats from your local code enforcement and municipality
- angry and frustrated neighbors whose properties and well being are impacted by the issues of the vacant and abandoned properties next to theirs