TITLE 34
Property

CHAPTER 34-44
Abandoned Property

SECTION 34-44-2


§ 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 that pose a health and/or safety hazard to the community and 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 following:

(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 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 for residential purposes or 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.

(4) "Interested party" means any owner, mortgagee, lienholder, or other entity or person who or 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 chapter.

(5) "Neighboring landowner" means any owner of property, including any entity or person who or that is purchasing property by land installment contract or under a duly executed purchase contract, that is located within two hundred (200) 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 abandonment.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1986, ch. 447, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 254, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 81, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 89, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 511, art. 1, § 16.)