55:19-56 Sale of tax lien on abandoned property; remediation costs.
37. a. Notwithstanding R.S.54:5-19 or the provisions of any other law to the contrary, if a property is included on the abandoned property list and the property taxes or other municipal liens due on the property are delinquent six or more quarters as of the date of expiration of the right to appeal inclusion on the list, or, if an appeal has been filed, as of the date that all opportunities for appeal of inclusion on the list have been exhausted, then the tax lien on the property may be sold in accordance with the procedures in the "tax sale law," R.S.54:5-1 et seq., on or after the 90th day following the expiration of that time of appeal or final determination on an appeal, as appropriate. The municipality may, at its option, require that the sale of the tax sale certificate or any subsequent assignment or transfer of a tax sale certificate held by the municipality be subject to the express condition that the purchaser or assignee shall be obliged to perform and conclude any rehabilitation or repairs necessary to remove the property from the abandoned property list pursuant to section 36 of P.L.1996, c.62 (C.55:19-55) and to post a bond in favor of the municipality to guarantee the rehabilitation or repair of the property. The public officer may waive a requirement to post a bond imposed by a municipality for any purchaser, assignee or transferee of a tax sale certificate that provides documentation acceptable to the public officer that the purchaser, assignee or transferee is a qualified rehabilitation entity as defined in section 3 of P.L.2003, c.210 (C.55:19-80). The cost of rehabilitation and repairs and the cost of the bond shall be added to the amount required to be paid by the owner for redemption of the property. The purchaser, assignee or transferee of the tax sale certificate who is required to rehabilitate and repair the property shall be required to file the appropriate affidavits with the tax collector, pursuant to R.S.54:5-62, representing the amounts of moneys expended periodically toward the rehabilitation or repair of the property. A purchaser, assignee or transferee shall be entitled to interest on the amounts expended, as set forth in the affidavits, at the delinquent rate of interest for delinquencies in excess of $1,500 pursuant to R.S.54:4-67 of the municipality in effect for the time period when the amounts were expended. The tax sale certificate purchaser, assignee or transferee, under the auspices and with the authority of the municipality, shall be permitted to enter in and upon the property for the purposes of appraising the costs of rehabilitation and repair and to perform all other acts required to guarantee the completion of the rehabilitation or repair of the property. No rehabilitation or repair work shall be commenced, however, until proof of adequate liability insurance and an indemnification agreement holding the municipality harmless is filed with the public officer. If the tax sale certificate is not purchased at the initial auction of the tax sale certificate and the municipality purchases the certificate pursuant to R.S.54:5-34, then the municipality is authorized and empowered to convey and transfer to the authority or any of its subsidiaries, without receiving compensation therefor, all of its right, title and interest in that certificate; however, any portion of the amount paid to the tax collector to redeem the tax sale certificate that represents tax or other municipal lien delinquencies and subsequent municipal liens, including interest, shall be returned by the tax collector to the municipality.
b. (1) If the municipality or the authority or its subsidiaries acquires the tax sale certificate for a property on the abandoned property list, then, upon 10 days' written notice to the property owner and any mortgagee as of the date of the filing of the lis pendens notice under subsection d. of section 36 of P.L.1996, c.62 (C.55:19-55), that entity shall be permitted to enter upon the property and remediate any conditions that caused the property to be included on the abandoned property list. No remediation shall be commenced, however, if within that 10-day period the owner or mortgagee shall have notified the municipality or authority or its subsidiary, as appropriate, in writing that the owner or mortgagee has elected to perform the remediation itself. When the owner or mortgagee elects to perform the remediation itself, it shall be required to post bond in favor of the municipality or authority or its subsidiaries, as appropriate, in order to ensure performance. The amount and conditions of the bond shall be determined by the public officer.
(2)The cost of remediation incurred by the municipality or the authority or its subsidiaries pursuant to this subsection, as so certified by the entity incurring the cost upon completion of the remediation, shall constitute a lien upon the property first in time and right to any other lien, whether the other lien was filed prior to, or after the filing of any lien by the municipality or the authority, except for municipal taxes, liens and assessments and any lien imposed pursuant to the "Spill Compensation and Control Act," P.L.1976, c.141 (C.58:10-23.11 et seq.), together with any interest thereon. The certification of cost shall be filed and recorded as a lien by the entity incurring the cost with the county clerk or register of deeds and mortgages, as appropriate, in the county in which the property is located.
c. (1) Failure of an owner or lienholder to remove a property from the abandoned property list within the period of time for appeal of inclusion of the property on the list pursuant to subsection e. of section 36 of P.L.1996, c.62 (C.55:19-55), shall be prima facie evidence of the intent of the owner to continue to maintain the property as abandoned property.
(2)The clearance, development, redevelopment, or repair of property being maintained as an abandoned property pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be a public purpose and public use for which the power of eminent domain may be exercised.
L.1996,c.62,s.37; amended 2005, c.118, s.2.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016