Abandonment Issues

My wife and I bought our first house almost 2 years ago in the Chester Park area of town. It’s an extremely small lot, neighboring houses are no less than 10 feet from ours on both the south and west sides. I love our house, it’s pretty much awesome. The neighbors, or lack thereof, however…..

The house on the west is fairly large, probably a 4 bedroom. Two years ago this house was already fairly dilapidated, rotting exterior, scary looking interior, and of course uninhabited. Obviously it’s present day condition has only gotten worse: Squirrels come and go through vents, a half dead tree rests on our roof and over power lines, and as of this week a family of no less than 3 raccoons is calling squatters rights, breaking a window to gain entrance.

The raccoons have taken a liking to sitting on the roof of the house to the south (which is now a foreclosure) and making noise. All. Night. Long. I’ve asked politley for them to quiet down, but am only met with extreme hostility. (“I will jump off this roof and eat your face off” hostility)

 

We aren’t really sure what we can do about this house. The tree is a huge issue, as a great deal of it is on our roof , it’s over power lines, and it’s shows definite signs of decay. The major roadblock is that the homeowner has been deceased for 7 or 8 years, and it’s still under his name. The city has been unwilling to help, only stating we need to seek legal council. Neither MN Power or other tree trimming services will touch it because it’s not on our property. The new inhabitants are just making this worse. I understand there are wild animals in town, but I don’t think they should have a 4 bedroom house at their disposal.

 

So, PDD, what the heck are my options? Is our only option to hire a lawyer?

 

Here is where I prematurely answer your questions:

1) No, I don’t have a firearm.

2) No, I don’t want to borrow yours. But thanks.

3) No, I won’t cut them myself, see also: live power lines.

4) No, I haven’t tried to contact the deceased via Ouija board to try and work it out. Although this seems like the best idea.

 

 

 

 

26 Comments

Terry G.

about 11 years ago

Havahart live trap: http://www.havahart.com/

Then take the cheapskates at least 10 miles away. We're the Chester Park area too and have flying squirrels laughing it up in our attic. A small live trap is slowly getting them all, I hope!

Spy1

about 11 years ago

Ownership is the first hurdle, then maybe this:

From the Two Harbors paper in June:

A wildlife rehabilitator wants to see the raccoons living in an abandoned house on Ninth Avenue in Two Harbors get a good home.

After reading an article about the problem property at 815 Ninth Avenue in last week's News-Chronicle, Regina Kijak, a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources permitted wildlife rehabilitator from Two Harbors, called North Shore Wildlife Control to see what it could do to get the raccoons out of the house.

"I was afraid that people would take the matter into their own hands," Kijak said. "It sounded like a professional needed to go in and help (the neighbors)."

North Shore Wildlife Control is a pest removal business based out of Duluth. It is focused on humanely removing skunks, raccoons, and other wildlife from homes. Allen Edberg and Gary Gagnon from the business stopped by the home last Friday to see where raccoons might be getting into the house.

Using a pair of binoculars, the two said they could see footprints on the window above the front porch where the neighbor, Meghan Koss, said she watched a raccoon climb into the house. 

Edberg said there was likely to be a mother raccoon living in the home with her babies. He says it has been "crazy right now" with requests for Wildlife Control to remove raccoons from homes in Duluth and up the North Shore. 

Edberg said he is willing to offer his services free of charge to the homeowner, who lives in Duluth. Wildlife Control would trap the animals and take them to Kijak, who would rehabilitate them and release them into the wild.

But without permission from the homeowner, Edberg can't do anything. Edberg said he has attempted to contact the homeowner but telephone calls have gone unanswered.

heysme

about 11 years ago

Call Al Edberg - maybe he can bait and set some traps on your property to get the scoundrels.

Al is getting some good publicity lately with the raccoons in Two Harbors and the bear on Park Point.

brian

about 11 years ago

You might talk to your insurance company about the tree if it is an imminent threat to your roof and therefore their bottom line. They may have some suggestions or avenues to get something to happen.
If it is touching any power lines, MN Power should be willing to trim it, at least get it away from the lines.

Then maybe you can trim it yourself  once the electrocution hazard is gone.

It's my understanding that you've got the right to trim/maintain anything that's growing over your property line, especially if it's causing damage.

Kerc

about 11 years ago

I'd call Minnesota Power and ask them to come trim the tree around the power lines. Don't start with "well it's my neighbor's yard" just tell them it is a safety hazard and the address.

From there ... wildlife person mentioned above. And I'd be calling my city councilor.

Baci

about 11 years ago

We had racoons in the abandoned house on our block. We emailed all the city councilors, St. Louis county commissioners and the mayor. A guy showed up and live trapped them within a week. Gently make a stink, work with the man and thank everyone for being active (when they are) and you might get what you need.

adam

about 11 years ago

If you tell us the address, we can host house parties there every night to keep the raccoons away.

NateL

about 11 years ago

Awesome advice everyone, it sounds like I have more options than I thought. House parties would be exceptional, but only if you promise to sit on the roof and yell expletives/shake your fist at me.

Many thanks.

Hollie

about 11 years ago

For the house that's in foreclosure, you can find out which bank is foreclosing.  Contact them and let them know that raccoons are settling in.  They likely want to keep the property in as good of shape as possible.  The bank will be trying to sell the house soon, and they'll want to get a decent amount for the house to recoup some of their money.  Any damage from wild animals will lower the value of the house.  They may be able to send someone out to trap them on that property.

Lojasmo

about 11 years ago

Coons are nice.  Let them be.

Good idea about contacting the power company, your insurance company, and the bank that owns the house.

Bully

about 11 years ago

What is the address of the house? I work with banks and their foreclosure properties, I might have a contact for you.  You can e-mail it to me if you want jeff.bullert (at) gmail.com

Bad Cat!

about 11 years ago

If it's a foreclosure, that means it is owned by some mortgage-holder somewhere that should be taking better care of their property.

I don't know how you'd track down the offending bank, but I think they are legally obligated to maintain the property.

Baci

about 11 years ago

@Losjamo - "coons are nice". I beg to differ, when they get territorial they can be a threat to family pets and small children. The ones which have been removed from the abandoned property near our house had been there quite awhile. Once a really sick one came out and stumbled around the street frothing and disoriented. A rabid raccoon is NOT cute.

NateL

about 11 years ago

@Bully - Thanks, email sent.

@Losjamo - Yeah ... a mom protecting her babies isn't exactly "nice." I don't want to see them hurt, and would like to have then relocated as a family, but those growls are far from friendly.

Swan

about 11 years ago

Offer the bank $1 for the house that has fallen into disrepair, tear it down and enjoy your new larger lawn/ garden, field whatever.

Karasu

about 11 years ago

The City seems pretty hot on ending blight and this sounds like a textbook case. If you contact them, maybe they'll do all the work for you.

Also: I agree with Swan. : D

NateL

about 11 years ago

I would, but the city doesn't own it. The dead guy does, and they said I would need an attorney to find out who is paying the taxes on the property.

NateL

about 11 years ago

I meant the bank. Hell, I don't know who owns it. If I did, I wouldn't admit to it either lol.

Paul Lundgren

about 11 years ago

I don't know who at the city told you that, but the city assessor knows who is paying taxes on that property and should provide you that information for free.

Gary

about 11 years ago

Suggestion 1:  Give the raccoons applications to run for the school board.  That will keep them occupied.

Suggestion 2:  Give the raccoons tickets to the Twin Ports Bridge Festival.  That will get them out of your hair for Saturday.

Suggestion 3:  Wait until next weekend, capture the raccoons and sneak them onto the tall ships, then wave as they sail away!

Spy1

about 11 years ago

Yes, you can find out who's who on the city web site by simply typing in the address. You can check all the taxes, assessments on your neighbors.

B-man

about 11 years ago

http://www.duluthmn.gov/assessor/search/index.cfm

Above is the link to the city assessors office property look up tool.  Click the "address" tab and enter the house number.

Does this get you what you need?

NateL

about 11 years ago

@ Paul, Spy1 & B-man:

The site gives me the deceased as the title holder and tax payer. The assessor told me the same thing and if I wanted any other info I would need legal council.

I don't understand how this is even possible. Either someone else is paying the taxes, possible in the deceased's name, or no taxes have been paid for the better part of a decade. 

I dunno.

adam

about 11 years ago

House party!

Hillel Slovak

about 11 years ago

Adam, will you invite me to your house party?

NateL

about 11 years ago

Adam, please do something about the rear door that keeps slamming in the wind.

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