Gaining access to a boarded house

5 Replies

I have written permission from an owner to go into their house to see it before making an offer as a short sale. However, the house is boarded up and the owner now lives across the country.  Any thoughts on how I could legally get into the house? Can I remove (and then reinstall) the board myself and use a locksmith to get into the doors? Should I involve the town? Thanks in advance for any advice 

Originally posted by @Paul Zimmermann :

I have written permission from an owner to go into their house to see it before making an offer as a short sale. However, the house is boarded up and the owner now lives across the country.  Any thoughts on how I could legally get into the house? Can I remove (and then reinstall) the board myself and use a locksmith to get into the doors? Should I involve the town? Thanks in advance for any advice 

 The seller's written word is king.  I'd "break in" with seller's permission in my pocket.  Be careful for squatters and angry raccoons.  Try to secure it when you leave.

Originally posted by @Paul Zimmermann :

I have written permission from an owner to go into their house to see it before making an offer as a short sale. However, the house is boarded up and the owner now lives across the country.  Any thoughts on how I could legally get into the house? Can I remove (and then reinstall) the board myself and use a locksmith to get into the doors? Should I involve the town? Thanks in advance for any advice 

You may have to clarify. You need to make an offer as a short sale but the property is boarded? By who? The bank? Is this a property that is or was recently habited or the seller was paying a mortagage on an uninhabitable property?

Better know who boarded up the place, the owner, the bank, planning & zoning, building regs, health department.....who?

And no, the owner's word isn't always king. 

I'd also stop by the police station and inform them of what you are doing and show them your written consent, they might laugh if it isn't a formal notarized consent. 

You could sit in jail after the little old lady across the street calls the cops, trespassing and breaking and entering while they sort things out. I wouldn't go on a Friday evening either!

@Paul Zimmermann

Yep, that lien tells you who done it!

Track down the city office responsible for the matter.

Often, administrative actions go through the municipal court or fall under ordinances that give court orders, those orders may include no trespassing. 

Forget the police, go to that office. I'd also ask if an inspector would go through with me as to any code violations needed to bring the property into service. Good luck :)