Regulating Vacant Property

Urban Lawyer, Vol. 42, No. 3, p. 627, 2010

Albany Law School Research Paper No. 10-44

13 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2010 Last revised: 6 Mar 2011

See all articles by Keith H. Hirokawa

Keith H. Hirokawa

Albany Law School

Ira Gonzalez

affiliation not provided to SSRN


Local governments have recently noted a correlation between the characteristics of neglected properties (e.g., unkempt yards, garbage accumulation, unsightly and dangerous structures) and the onslaught of neighborhood blight. Local governments have also noted the coincidence of unoccupied structures and property deterioration through lack of maintenance. Accordingly, local governments (in droves) have employed the police power to regulate property vacancy. In other words, to clamp down on blight, lawmakers are turning to regulation of non-use of real estate through vacant property regulatory programs.

Vacant property regulations may provide an efficient way for local governments to contain neighborhood deterioration. In a troubled real estate market, such efforts may also support the property owners' interests in the maintaining property values until market conditions improve. However, vacant property regulations pose special, perhaps unanticipated, problems for owners and neighborhoods. This article considers whether the current iterations of vacant property regulation may do more harm than good.

Keywords: Government, Real Estate, Taking

Suggested Citation

Hirokawa, Keith H. and Gonzalez, Ira, Regulating Vacant Property. Urban Lawyer, Vol. 42, No. 3, p. 627, 2010, Albany Law School Research Paper No. 10-44, Available at SSRN:

Keith H. Hirokawa (Contact Author)

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States

Ira Gonzalez

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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