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Act 135 Attorneys in Trevose, Pennsylvania

In the heart of our communities, we often encounter properties that have seen better days. Neglected and abandoned, these properties can cast a shadow over the vibrant neighborhoods we cherish. If you're facing such a situation, you're not alone, and there's hope. The Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act (commonly referred to as Act 135) is a vital tool for neighbors, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to address these issues and revitalize our communities. 

At the Benoff Law Firm, we understand the concerns you may have about Act 135. We can help you understand this important law, provide helpful resources, and explain how it can both positively impact neighborhoods and pose challenges to property owners. You can trust us to offer experienced and knowledgeable representation throughout this process.   

What Is Act 135?

Enacted in Pennsylvania in 2008, Act 135 serves as a mechanism to combat blight and neglect in our communities. It allows concerned parties to petition the court for the appointment of a conservator who takes control of an abandoned property and facilitates its rehabilitation for productive use.  

At its core, Act 135 is about breathing new life into decaying properties, fostering community growth, and ensuring that the places we call home remain vibrant and safe. 

Why Act 135 Is Important: A Beacon of Hope for Communities

Act 135 is vital because it empowers communities to take action against blight, enhancing property values, safety, and overall neighborhood well-being. Neglected properties can drive down home values, attract criminal activity, and create an eyesore. Act 135 offers a legal framework to address these concerns systematically. 

However, it's crucial to recognize that the act can also significantly impact property owners. It aims to strike a balance between community improvement and property rights.  

Our experienced business law attorneys at Benoff Law Firm are committed to providing our clients with aggressive quality legal representation and counsel. Our goal is to provide a level of performance and satisfaction that demonstrates to both clients and peers nothing less than the best legal service available. To learn more about Act 135 or any other real estate law needs, reach out to us today. 

Navigating Act 135 Together

Navigating Act 135: A Step-by-Step Guide

The process of conservatorship under Act 135 involves several steps, from filing the petition to the ultimate rehabilitation and sale of the property. Understanding this process is essential to navigate it successfully. 

  1. File the Petition: If you're considering using Act 135, the first step is to file a petition with the court. This document outlines your concerns about a specific property's blighted or abandoned status and initiates the legal process. It's a critical step in addressing a blighted property in your community and should be taken seriously—it sets the legal wheels in motion. 

  1. Court Evaluation: The court will evaluate the petition and assess whether the property in question meets the criteria for conservatorship. 

  1. Conservator Appointment: If the court deems it necessary, a conservator is appointed. This individual becomes the virtual owner of the property and takes charge of the rehabilitation efforts. 

  1. Rehabilitation and Sale: The conservator is responsible for rehabilitating the property and preparing it for sale. The costs associated with this process are typically deducted from the sale proceeds. 

Act 135 allows neighbors, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to file petitions. This inclusivity protects those directly affected so they can take action. Whether you're a resident who's witnessed the deterioration of your once-thriving neighborhood or a business owner dealing with declining foot traffic due to nearby blight, Act 135 provides a mechanism for you to make a difference. 

Understanding Your Rights as a Property Owner

As a property owner facing an Act 135 petition, you have rights that deserve protection. The law is designed to strike a balance between community improvement and property rights. It's crucial to be aware of your rights, which may include: 

  • The Right to Contest: Property owners have the right to contest Act 135 petitions. You can present evidence and arguments to defend your property from conservatorship. 

  • Notification: You should be notified when a petition is filed against your property. Timely communication is essential to ensure you have the opportunity to respond effectively. 

  • Due Process: Property owners are entitled to due process, which means a fair and impartial hearing where you can present your case and challenge the allegations made against your property. 

If you believe your property does not meet the criteria for conservatorship or if there are extenuating circumstances, our legal team can mount a strong defense on your behalf. 

Conditions for Conservatorship

To navigate Act 135 effectively, it's essential to understand key terms, such as "conservator". A conservator is a third party appointed by the court to oversee the revitalization of a blighted property. This individual carries both the power and responsibility to orchestrate the property's transformation.  

To appoint a conservator, certain conditions must be met: 

  1. The building has been empty for a year. 

  1. The owner hasn't shown proof of actively trying to sell or rent it for two months. 

  1. There's no impending foreclosure by a private entity. 

  1. The current owner can't prove they bought it within the last six months. 

  1. The Court believes the building is a danger, needs major repairs, and isn't safe for people to live in. 

These conditions are designed to ensure that the property in question genuinely qualifies as blighted or abandoned. Act 135 aims to target properties that are detrimental to the community and require intervention. 

The Appointment of a Conservator

The court plays a pivotal role in the appointment of a conservator. This decision is not taken lightly, and the court considers various factors before making such an appointment, and the court can appoint any of the following parties to be the conservator: 

  • Individual or entity recommended by the petitioner. 

  • The most senior lienholder. 

  • Governmental units. 

  • Nonprofit organizations (with rehabilitation experience). 

It's crucial to understand how this process works, especially if you find yourself on either side of an Act 135 case. 

Act 135 Attorneys in Trevose, Pennsylvania

When you choose the Benoff Law Firm, you're choosing a partner in your fight for justice. For more information about Act 135 or to discuss your rights under the Act, please don't hesitate to contact our office. Your community's well-being matters, and we're here to help you make a positive impact. Reach out to us today to speak with one of our experienced business law attorneys who can guide you through the complexities of Act 135 and advocate for your rights.