The Detroit Land Bank Authority launched the Nuisance Abatement Program (NAP) in the Spring of 2014. Since then, NAP has made strides in combating blight to stabilize and rebuild neighborhoods for the general health, safety, and welfare of the community.
The DLBA legal team files NAP lawsuits against vacant properties and properties identified as suspected drug houses. NAP focuses on properties that are boarded, open to trespass, neglected, and/or dangerous throughout the city of Detroit. These properties are identified through governmental data, onsite inspections, local community groups, and concerned neighbors. Once verified, NAP conducts a title search and tax record search to determine ownership and interested parties. A formal complaint is then filed against the property and notice is sent to all interested parties.
The complaint requests owners to renovate their property for the benefit of the community. However, should the owner fail to do so, the complaint then requests they lose their rights to the property and it be transferred to the Detroit Land Bank Authority. These properties are screened by the DLBA for demolition, rehabilitation, or sale.
NAP targets properties within defined areas. These areas, as well as the properties within the areas, have been identified in collaboration with the City of Detroit’s District Managers. For the NAP team to pursue a property, the property must be 1) Privately-owned, 2) Vacant or being used for illegal activity and 3) Located within the defined boundaries. As a resident or community organization, should you be concerned about a property, you can report it to your District Manager for possible action. You can contact the District Manager through the following site: District Manager.
The complaint requests owners to renovate their property for the benefit of the community or risk losing their rights to the Detroit Land Bank Authority. Through a lawsuit, NAP gives owners the opportunity to enter into an agreement to abate the nuisance, the preferred method, or to oppose the suit in court. A default judgment that allows transfer of title to the Detroit Land Bank Authority is granted against owners who choose not to respond and do not abate (fix) the blight.
On April 17, 2014, the 1st lawsuit was filed against 25 vacant and abandoned properties that were in dire need of renovation. Since then, NAP has:
- Filed over 215 complaints consisting of over 4,000 vacant properties in 12 different community project areas.
- Entered into over 1600 agreements with property owners.
- Received over 1400 default judgments due to owners failing to respond to the lawsuits, with the first judgment occurring on June 6, 2014.
- Each complaint, agreement, and judgment is a significant stride towards building a better Detroit – a community safe for children to play, to learn, and to grow.
On July 1, 2014, the NAP program expanded to include properties that are a nuisance due to illegal drug activity. When a search warrant is executed and drugs are found in the premises that information is forwarded to the NAP program. A warning letter is sent to the owner of the property after the first search warrant and the transfer of property may occur if drug nuisance is not abated; if a second warrant finds drugs, a case is filed using the same procedures as used for abandoned property.