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Neighbors sue Pennsylvania town over dilapidated building

A residential real estate dispute is unfolding in a Pennsylvania town, and Philadelphia residents with blight concerns may be interested. The residents of a Sunbury home have sued the city over what they say is a dilapidated property that the city took through eminent domain. The falling-down property is actually connected to the plaintiffs' home.

However, the Sunbury mayor claimed the city never fully took control of the property and instead tried to contact the owners, who apparently haven't been found. The mayor went on to say that "the city has no responsibility on this whatsoever."

Attorneys for the plaintiffs said that in 2007, as part of a resolution regarding blighted properties, the city declared its intention to take the dilapidated building. The process was never completed, however, after the city took the title to the property but never took possession.

One major issue in this case appears to be the fact that the property in question is part of a double-half home. The plaintiffs live in the non-dilapidated section of the structure, and the Sunbury mayor claimed the city would never bring an eminent domain action against a property where people were still living.

For their part, the plaintiffs want the city to repair or demolish the blighted structure, which they say is damaging their home.

In one of our previous posts, we discussed Philadelphia's efforts to clean up and repurpose blighted properties through the city's Land Bank. Those efforts are also likely to involve the location of absent or tax-delinquent property owners.

To learn more about these issues from a legal perspective, you can visit our main real estate website.

Source: The Daily Item, "Neighbors say city neglects property," Francis Scarcella, March 19, 2014

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