A critical step to addressing problem properties is to communicate with private property owners. Here you will find resources on communicating with property owners and encouraging owner responsibility.
See also the preventing blight section for proactive ideas on legal options (codes, ordinances, property registration, permit denials, criminal charges) to fight blight.
How to research a property owner [click to download]
Use this tool to learn all about a deed search and how to go about one. It also contains a checklist and regional resources to contact to obtain property information.
Friendly Letter Template [click to download]
Use this letter to initiate a conversation with the owner of an abandoned/dilapidated property.
Conversation with property owner script [click to download]
Now that you’ve mailed a letter to a property owner about a site, s/he calls you back. This script will help guide you in a productive conversation.
Receivership / Conservatorship
The municipality appoints a third party to enter onto someone else’s property and complete the improvements needed to make it safe. [more information coming soon]
Condemning Properties Using West Virginia Unsafe Building Commissions [more information coming soon]
A land bank is a public authority created to efficiently hold, manage and develop tax-foreclosed property. West Virginia recently passed the SB579 Land Banks bill, however the creation of an Urban Renewal Authority (URA) is a more effective route.