Chapter 081
2015 -- H 6146
Enacted 06/17/2015

A N   A C T

Introduced By: Representatives Diaz, Almeida, Carnevale, and McKiernan
Date Introduced: April 30, 2015

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
     SECTION 1. Section 34-44-2 of the General Laws in Chapter 34-44 entitled "Abandoned
Property" is hereby amended to read as follows:
     34-44-2. Definitions. -- As used in this chapter:
      (1) "Abandon" or "abandonment" means a situation where the owner of a building has
intended to abandon the building, and has manifested the intent with some act or failure to act. In
determining whether an owner has abandoned his or her building, a court shall infer the intent of
the owner from the existence of serious code violations which that pose a health and/or safety
hazard to the community and which that have gone unrepaired for an unreasonable amount of
time and from any of the surrounding facts and circumstances including, but not limited to the
      (i) Whether or not the building is vacant;
      (ii) Whether or not the grounds are maintained;
      (iii) Whether or not the building's interior is sound;
      (iv) Whether or not any vandalism on the building has gone unrepaired;
      (v) Whether or not rents have been collected from the building's tenants by the owner;
      (vi) The length of time any of the above conditions have existed.
      (2) "Abate" or "abatement" in connection with any property means the removal or
correction of any hazardous conditions deemed to constitute a public nuisance and the making of
such other improvements as are needed to effect affect a rehabilitation of the property that is
consistent with maintaining safe and habitable conditions over the remaining useful life of the
property. However, the closing or boarding up of any building that is found to be a public
nuisance is not an abatement of the nuisance.
      (3) "Building" means any building or structure used or intended to be used for residential
purposes and includes or a building or structure in which any floor may be used for retail stores,
shops, salesrooms, markets, or similar commercial uses, or for offices, banks, civic administration
activities, professional services, or similar business or civic uses, and the other floor or floors are
used or designed and intended to be used for residential purposes.
      (4) "Interested party" means any owner, mortgagee, lienholder, or other person that
possesses an interest of record in any property that becomes subject to the jurisdiction of the court
pursuant to this chapter and any applicant for the appointment of a receiver pursuant to this
      (5) "Neighboring landowner" means any owner of property, including any person who is
purchasing property by land installment contract or under a duly executed purchase contract, that
is located within two hundred feet of any property that becomes subject to the jurisdiction of the
court pursuant to this chapter.
      (6) "Public nuisance" means a building that is a menace to the public health, welfare, or
safety,; or that is structurally unsafe, unsanitary,; or not provided with adequate safe egress,; or
that constitutes a fire hazard,; or is otherwise dangerous to human life,; or is otherwise no longer
fit and habitable,; or that, in relation to existing use, constitutes a hazard to the public health,
welfare, or safety by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence, or
     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.