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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Responsibility For Break-Ins At A Condemned Property

    A friend of mines house was condemned due to a suspected meth lab in Colorado. They did not let him take anything out of the House until it gets tested again from a hygienist which after paying a lawyer, and the price of the testing is up there the house has been unoccupied for a couple of months. In the past month it has been broken into 5 times, all of which reports were filed. A lot of damage has been done to the house, and a lot of valuable things taken.
    The law came into the house under a different warrant but saw enough of something to search the house for drugs finding certain items that made it a suspected meth lab.
    With all the new laws it doesn't take much but the facts remain that waiting and trying to get the money to test and clean the house to code standards the house sat waiting for thugs to break in.
    He had contacted his insurance company about the hygienist and such, they canceled his policy for what ever reason.
    Now I understand that condemning a property is one thing but while it is condemned and no one is allowed on the property, is ANYONE responsible for it? They don't allow him to go onto the property that is now trashed worse then when the police got done with it and allot of valuable stuff just gone. Is it just another loss for him again? Talking about kicking some one when they are down.
    They did catch 2 out of 3 of the people that were involved and found out that one of his past friends were telling and taking people over there and showing them it was empty and a easy target. The one not caught is the person responsible for taking the other 2 that were caught over there. Can't they arrest the 3rd one for conspiracy?
    Does he just chalk the stuff stolen up and hope that it doesn't happen again? like the last 5 times?
    He was not guilty to this crime, does not have the 3--4 thousand dollars to do testing, now no insurance to cover stolen items, can't get in to properly secure the house and yet keeps losing until ALL of it is gone?
    what rights does he have if any?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,438

    Default Re: Is anyone responsible?

    Was your friend running a meth lab in the condemned house?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,620

    Default Re: Is anyone responsible?

    Not just your friend, but anybody. But even if not, if the materials found in the house make it reasonably likely that it was being used as a meth lab, the government's action may be reasonable even if the materials were intended for use at a different location or the meth lab had not yet been put into service.

    If your friend had any defenses to the condemnation action, he should have raised them during condemnation proceedings. From your comments, it appears that either he failed to do so or that the house was condemned anyway.

    The production of meth creates hazardous byproducts, which are often improperly disposed of creating a public health risk. If the house was used as a meth lab or there is a reasonable basis to conclude that it was used as a meth lab, it is reasonable for the government to want certification that it is safe for habitation before they permit it to be used for habitation (or remove the condemnation order).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Is anyone responsible?

    I understand the condemned part of it due to the chemical part but what about the people breaking and entering? Lets say that when he gets it tested and all is good but lots of valuable items stolen? who is responsible for those items? He isn't allowed to be on or in the property so it is hard to make sure it is secure? Does he just mark it up for a loss?
    Thank you for your replies!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    71,760

    Default Re: Is anyone responsible?

    He can have it tested and resume possession. If he wishes to have greater security before that time, he can look into some form of alarm (consistent with the restrictions on his access) or security service.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,126

    Default Re: Is anyone responsible?

    Quote Quoting UnluckyAunt
    View Post
    I understand the condemned part of it due to the chemical part but what about the people breaking and entering? Lets say that when he gets it tested and all is good but lots of valuable items stolen? who is responsible for those items? He isn't allowed to be on or in the property so it is hard to make sure it is secure? Does he just mark it up for a loss?
    Thank you for your replies!!
    The insurance was cancelled becauase the home is vacant. A vacant policy may have been purchased, but because of the illegal stuff going on, he'd have a hard time finding a company to insure it. A way to prevent vandalism is to have the house boarded up.

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