The Blighted and Abandoned Property Conservatorship Act 135 of 2008 was passed November 26th 2008 and went into effect February 24th 2009. The act creates a process to remediate properties that have been neglected by a private owner. PCDC has successfully acted as the petitioner and conservator for many Philadelphia properties that were likely to continue to deteriorate were it not for the conservatorship act.

A brief overview of the process: 

A neglected property is identified by a party in interest - which may be a neighbor, a lien holder, or a non-profit organization. A petitioner files a petition with the Court of Common Pleas to initiate a conservatorship action and recommend a conservator to remediate the property, notifying the property owner of the filing, hearing date, and remediation plan for the property. A conservator is a third party with the competency to take possession of the property and provide the necessary rehabilitation and management.

The property must meet certain conditions for conservatorship:

  • not legally occupied for 12 months
  • not marketed for 60 days
  • no foreclosure action pending
  • current owner has held the property for longer than 6 months

and the property must meet a minimum of 3 of the following conditions:

  • is a public nuisance
  • needs substantial rehabilitation
  • is unfit for occupancy
  • increases risk of fire
  • is subject to unauthorized entry
  • is an attractive nuisance to children
  • creates health or safety risk due to presence of vermin, accumulation of debris, or deterioration of the structure
  • its dilapidated appearance negatively affects the economic well-being of surrounding residents and businesses
  • is an attractive nuisance for illicit purposes

The act authorizes the Court of Common Pleas to appoint a conservator, approve a rehabilitation plan, and ensure the plan is properly implemented.