Is a property trustee responsible for securing and maintaining the real property?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Is a property trustee responsible for securing and maintaining the real property?

We have a old school in the middle of town that is in ruins that apparently the county where the building is located is the trustee of the property. This property is not maintained and is a safety hazard with no fences. No one seems to take responsibility for the run down school and the whole town wants someone to remove it or take care of it. What can we do? Does the trustee have to maintain the property? The county will take no action or responsibility.

Asked on August 30, 2019 under Estate Planning, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Who owns the property? Whomever owns it, which may be your town, is generally obligated to maintain it and can be held accountable for any health or safety violations, or for any injuries which occur on the property due to a lack of maintenance. So determine who is the owner: that is the entity which must maintain it of suffer the consequences.

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