If you own property in Georgia, whether residential or commercial, you know the kind of time, effort and resources you have put into keeping your property attractive and safe for yourself and others who may visit. You also know how expensive it can be to maintain your property. You make regular repairs on your home or building, including painting, improving and upgrading. The outside requires your attention as well, such as mowing, trimming trees and removing debris.
You have every right to be proud of your work and to take the time to enjoy the fruits of your labors. However, this may be difficult to do if neighboring property owners do not maintain and care for their own land and buildings. Not only can dilapidated or abandoned properties be an eyesore, but they can be a danger to you and the entire neighborhood.
Atlanta has ordinances against property owners who allow their land and buildings to fall into disrepair. These problem properties are often those in which investors have lost interest, so they abandon them. However, this is not always the case. You may be living or working next to a property in which the owner simply does not properly dispose of garbage or has neglected basic maintenance in violation of local codes. Most commonly, problem properties include:
- Abandoned properties with rotting buildings
- Land overgrown with weeds or dangerous trees
- Unoccupied land where people dump their garbage
- Property with an unreasonable number of broken-down vehicles
- Buildings that have been boarded up for months or years
These properties may attract rodents, become a fire hazard or invite unwanted criminal elements into the neighborhood. This may certainly interfere with your right to the enjoyment of your property. You may feel unsafe in your own home or lose customers if your business is near one of these problem properties.
What can I do about it?
The law allows for steep fines for those property owners who fail to comply with orders to repair, clean or otherwise deal with the code violations. However, you may already be struggling with the repercussions of a poorly maintained property next to yours. Perhaps your neighbor’s garbage is overflowing onto your land, your health is at risk, or you and other neighbors are concerned about the well-being of your children.
If you have made a good faith effort to deal with the problem on your own, it may be time to seek legal advice. You may have options you had not considered, and a skilled attorney can guide you in finding ways to achieve a positive resolution.