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Brockton Mayor Proposes Abandoned Property Registry

Brockton Mayor Linda Balzotti is pushing for new abandoned property law that would establish a registry for vacant and unused properties. The abandoned property registry would serve dual purposes of tracking abandoned homes as well as curbing the urban blight of ugly, unkempt land.

The proposed ordinance would require owners of vacant homes to register their homes on the city list and pay a $150 registration fee, reports The Enterprise. This fee would pay for the costs of the city to monitor the property as well as pay any up-front maintenance costs.

The abandoned property registry and fee is important as many urban areas have been negatively affected by abandoned homes. These homes attract thieves and squatters and are usually eyesores that can depress the value of property nearby.

By having a reservoir of funds, the city can take action and fix blights, or at least pressure homeowners to fix or sell their homes, reports the Enterprise.

Currently, neighbors have to sue the owners of vacant homes in a nuisance action to fix unsightly abandoned properties. Nuisance actions are a hassle as it involves neighbor suing neighbor. In addition, a nuisance may be hard to prove as one generally has to show that he has lost enjoyment or use of property due to a neighbor's nuisance. With abandoned land, it may be difficult to prove that an empty building negatively affects your land use.

The City of Brockton decided to take action to protect its residents by proposing an abandoned property registry. If passed, the abandoned property law makes it easier for the city to remove urban blights.

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