The Eastern District Planning Commission’s Jonathan Martin talked about demolition orders on May 2 at Inverness Municipal Council.

PORT HOOD: Inverness Municipal Council has ordered that a pair of dangerous and unsightly premises be brought down.

Jonathan Martin, a building inspector from the Eastern District Planning Commission, visited council’s regular monthly meeting on May 2 and explained that two properties in the community of Inverness are in need of demolition.

Both properties are located on Forest Street. The civic numbers are 59 and 74, and both are in a ruinous and dilapidated condition according to the standards of the Municipal Government Act.

The property at 74 Forest is worse, Martin said, noting that it’s no longer fit for habitation. The house at 59 Forest is slightly better but is still in rough shape.

“If someone wanted to renovate it extensively, we’d want to see an engineer look at the structure,” he said. “Our recommendation is for a demolition order to be issued from council to the owners.”

Generally, a demolition order is issued to the owners of such a property indicating the structure be taken down inside 30 days. The demolition is done at the owner’s expense.

Complicating matters is the fact that the ownership of the house and land is unclear. Councillor Laurie Cranton questioned Martin on the matter.

“You were told by the supposed owners who received a registered letter from you that the property is owned by the bank now,” Cranton said. “How complicated does that make things?”

Martin said he’s currently reviewing the ins-and-outs of that. No bank is currently listed on a property registry, and the people who are listed as the owners have been legally notified.

The ownership of the 74 Forest property is also causing headaches, as the former owner is deceased.

“There is only one owner [of 74 Forest] and she’s passed away,” Martin said. “We’re trying to get in touch with people who don’t own the property but who might have an interest in it.”

He explained that family of the former owner might be interested in taking possession of the land, as there is value in the lot. The structure, however, is in a bad way by the standards of the Municipal Government Act.

“I’m not comfortable with anything besides a demolition order because it’s not safe to walk into,” he said.

“Our recommendation is the same as the last one. In order to remedy the condition, a demolition order should be issued to the owners, giving them 30 days to demolish it.”

In the case of the first property, the owners – bank or otherwise – will have to pay the bill for demolition. For the second property, if no one related to the deceased owner’s family wants the property, the municipality will have to handle the demolition costs.