Zombie Homes are properties that have been vacant for an extended period of time and are often owned by a bank, trust, or mortgage company. The Code Enforcement Officers from of our Planning and Development department continually monitor vacant and neglected properties throughout the town; we recognize abandoned and neglected homes can negatively impact property values, as well as the aesthetics of streets and neighborhoods. Additionally, it is illegal for any property owner to cover windows or doors with plywood. To hold lending institutions accountable, the Town legally requires them to deposit $25,000 for residential properties and $35,000 for non-residential properties into an escrow account for each abandoned property in their portfolio. This requirement ensures funds are available should the Town be forced to clean the property and also acts as a deterrent for lending institutions to sit idle on vacant properties.
Once a property has been identified as abandoned or an eyesore, Code Enforcement inspects the property in order to make a final determination whether the property legally qualifies as a “Zombie Home.” If the home meets the criteria, and all avenues to spur the owner to rehabilitate the property have been exhausted, the Town enters court to remove the eyesore from your community. Property owners reimburse the Town of Oyster Bay for any and all expenses incurred throughout the process.
The objective of the Town’s Zombie Home Program is to ensure the Town of Oyster Bay continues to be a highly desirable community to live, work and raise a family.