New Jersey law requires banks to maintain the exterior of vacant foreclosed homes. Now, a state lawmaker has proposed extending that requirement to businesses under foreclosure.
Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak said his bill is not just about requiring that the grass and shrubbery at an abandoned business site be maintained.
“We’re actually talking about making sure that the building isn’t going into decay and falling apart, making sure that if a roof blows off that you take the proper steps as far as replacing it or taking the building down,” he said.
Andrzejczak, D-Cape May, said the measure aims to ensure property values in a community don’t go down because of the neglect of abandoned commercial buildings.
“You have people breaking in, and they’re causing damage to the properties. There are other things that are tied into that as well as far as potentially bringing crime into the area or bringing a homeless population into those areas,” he said. “The ratables are going to be dropping due to these problems.”
The bill would give a foreclosed property’s creditors 30 days to take corrective action. If they don’t, municipalities could impose a $1,500 fine for each day of a maintenance violation.