Within Real Estate, “nuisance” is a term used to describe any disturbance that might affect neighboring houses. Nuisance abatement is the enforcing of policies and codes that prevent and/or abate possible nuisances. One can do willingly or by force, via an abatement notice.
With that in mind, it’s important to understand that there are a LOT of different nuisance abatement procedures; especially because of the varying nature of policies and codes throughout the United States. However, what they all do is allow an action – of the government or another interested party - to stop the nuisance from happening.
Nuisance abatement can be done to prevent, for instance, property abandonment – because an abandoned house falling apart can make the neighborhood’s market value go down; which is a big nuisance – don’t you agree? Depending on the jurisdiction and specific conditions of a house and its owner, a neighbor can invoke nuisance abatement and the government or the Homeowner's Association can provide the technical assistance to fix whatever is wrong. Nuisance abatement can also be invoked to prevent and remediate “smaller” things like graffiti vandalism, or even dogs from pooping at specific places.
The most common product of nuisance abatement laws throughout the nation, however, is neighborhood safety task forces and other initiatives that aim to abate the nuisance of crime and violence.
In 2017, nuisance abatement abuse came to light on a national level when Sarah Ryley received the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for uncovering a series of cases where the police abused of eviction rules to oust poor minorities’ people from their home.
Real Estate Tips:
There are several procedures when taking action because of nuisance abatement. Don’t take action without knowing your jurisdiction’s nuisance abatement laws; you might commit a crime. Ask your real estate agent for guidance if you’re selling a home devalued by nuisance, and hire a real estate lawyer so you know all the risks.