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

Posted: Updated:
ENGLISHTOWN -

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.

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