Neighbor’s dilapidated barn costs woman her homeowner’s insurance

Posted: Updated:

An Englishtown woman says that she lost her homeowner’s insurance due to her neighbor’s dilapidated barn and she is now demanding the barn be torn down.

“You’re starting to see the building actually collapse,” says Patricia Kelich.

Kelich says that the barn sits just three feet from her property line and that the conditions have been steadily deteriorating.

“Something's really got to be done. We need a date when this is coming down,” she says.

Kelich says that she moved into her home 20 years ago with her late husband. She says that the barn was always deteriorating, but says that four years ago it started to cost her. She says that her insurance company canceled her homeowner’s policy in December 2014, saying that the barn was “a liability hazard due to its state of disrepair.”

“At that point, the town should have stepped up, took accountability and worked this out with [the owners,]” Kelich says.

The town ordered the property owner to demolish the barn in November 2014. The one-time owner owed thousands in back taxes, which led to a tax lien and sale. A new owner bought the property and has taken out a demolition permit.

But Kelich says that she worries it'll be easier for the new owner to flip the property and move on, leaving the barn looming and decaying, right next to her house.

“What are we talking about? We’re talking about another 4, 6, 8 months? A year? And in the meantime, my homeowner’s insurance is three times the amount that it should be. This barn should have been condemned. It should have been taken down. It should have been removed,” Kelich says.

The Englishtown municipal clerk tells News 12 New Jersey that to complicate matters, the town is in litigation due to a squatter’s rights issue on the property.

A representative for the Union County-based holding company that now owns the barn property declined to comment.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."