The courts can appoint conservators to protect and manage a property. Whether residential, commercial, or industrial, “The Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act” was established in 2008.
By putting this law in the books, the city of Philadelphia hoped to retain its historic nature and avoid having rundown buildings permeating the neighborhoods.
One of the most spectacular things about Philadelphia is that roaming through the streets is like diving back into historic times. There are buildings and homes that have stood the test of time, long outliving those who first built them.
The different architectural styles make them a thing of beauty. They also are what contributes to the unique vibe that this city has, however, they can be problematic. Some of these properties do not have anyone taking care of them. They become rundown and attract a negative element.
When these buildings become abandoned or are dangerous due to a dire need for repairs, they are considered blighted properties. They are also a thorn in the side of homeowners, forcing the value down on the neighboring homes. Unfortunately, instead of continuing to be a cherished part of history, these dilapidated buildings become riddled with squatters and drug dealers.
The Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act was put into place to do something about these buildings to get them up to code.
Homes or buildings are officially deemed as blighted properties when there have been no occupants for at least 12 months. The hallmark of a blighted property is that it has code violations and is a public nuisance due to attracting the wrong element.
Properties that are blighted are not under foreclosure, and no one has tried to sell it for the last 60 days. The owner of the property also must have been the owner for a minimum of 6 months.
Conservators can help by rehabilitating the blighted property. They can do so to either sell it or provide benefits to the surrounding community. This means that a conservator can be an individual person or an entity. It may even be the property owner or the lien holder.
One of the requirements to become a conservator of one of these blighted properties is to have the ability to secure the necessary funds required to revive the property in question.
If you are interested in becoming the conservator of a blighted property, you will need to file a petition for this conservatorship with the court. This must be done in the same county where this property is located.
Additionally, you must sign a sworn statement that to the best of your knowledge, the property meets the requirements to be considered blighted. You’ll also have to provide an array of supporting documents. These will include citations showing it violates city codes and is a public nuisance as well as a detailed plan for the rehabilitation of the property, among other things.
As the petitioner, you will need to notify anyone who may have an interest in this property of your intent to request conservatorship. This comes with a formal notice of the impending legal action.
You will also need to plan on attending a conservatorship hearing, which will be set within 60 days of filing the petition. Anyone else with an interest in the property has the right to intervene before or during this hearing, where they can show evidence to the court regarding the property. Often, the owner may have objections, and the court may permit them a designated amount of time to rehabilitate the property to bring it up to code.
It can get even more complicated when an owner decides to intervene in this process. This is why most people that are interested in rehabilitating these old buildings throughout the city seek a lawyer to help make the process smoother from start to finish.
A property conservatorship attorney in Philadelphia can help you gain conservatorship of a blighted property. Whether you’re an individual with an interest in reviving the community or an entity, it makes sense to work with a lawyer who has a deeper understanding of these laws.
They will research the property to avoid common pitfalls in the process. They will also ensure the petition you file is fully accurate and attend your hearings to represent you throughout the process.