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Real property

nuisance abatement

A nuisance is a condition or use of property that interferes with adjoining landowners’ (neighbors) use and enjoyment of their properties; or endangers the life, health, enjoyment, or safety of others; or is offensive to others. Loud noises, foul odors, unsightly conditions, and illegal or immoral activities (such as prostitution or illegal drug activity) on a property are common examples of nuisances.

Trash, litter, uncut grass or vegetation, untrimmed trees, graffiti, and abandoned motor vehicles and tires are also common subjects of nuisance abatement efforts—often undertaken by a city or town’s code compliance or code enforcement department or division.

Abatement is generally the act of stopping, eliminating, or nullifying some condition or activity. Nuisance abatement or abatement of a nuisance generally includes stopping or eliminating a noise, odor, unsightly condition, or other nuisance—or repairing or demolishing a home, apartment complex, or other building the owner has failed to maintain and that endangers the life, health, safety, or life enjoyment of persons in the neighborhood.

State laws (statutes) often provide local governments with certain nuisance abatement powers to compel the owner of a property to fix or remedy the conditions creating a nuisance—and if the owner fails to do so, the local government may do so, such as by demolishing or razing a building.

Under some circumstances the local government may choose to repair or rehabilitate the nuisance condition—or remove, remediate, transport, and dispose of materials or property on the premises that are creating the nuisance.

Local governments may also have the right to prohibit access to the premises by some or all persons, and to control access to the premises.

In Texas, nuisance laws are designed to address conditions or activities that interfere with the use and enjoyment of property by others, or that pose a danger to health, safety, or welfare. Common nuisances include loud noises, foul odors, unsightly conditions, and illegal activities. Local governments in Texas have the authority to enforce nuisance abatement, which involves taking measures to stop or eliminate nuisances. This can include requiring property owners to address issues such as trash, overgrown vegetation, or dilapidated buildings. If property owners fail to comply, the local government may intervene directly, potentially by cleaning up, repairing, or even demolishing the offending property. Additionally, local ordinances may empower cities or towns to prevent access to properties that are deemed a nuisance. Texas Health and Safety Code provides a legal framework for nuisance abatement, and local governments often have specific ordinances that detail the procedures and enforcement mechanisms available to them.

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