Vacant Properties

    

CAUTION - Vacant homes draw transients, vandals, and other criminals. NEVER enter a vacant property. If you hear noise or see suspicious activity, contact the police. DO NOT try to investigate on your own. Thankfully, the number of vacant homes is currently in decline. However, in order to keep criminals out of Forest Ridge, we need YOU to keep your eyes and ears open and to report anything that looks or sounds suspicious. If you live next to a vacant property, the rest of your neighborhood needs you to be extra vigilant, for your safety and for the rest of the neighborhood. Remember - NEVER ENTER A VACANT HOME!!

What to do about vacant properties??

Vacant properties can easily become an eyesore and even a safety hazard. If you must leave your home for more than a few days, please make sure someone is picking up your mail, newspapers, trash and recycling bins, and keeping up your yard. This will also make your home less likely to be targeted for burglary. Likewise, if you are renting your home, you are responsible for its maintenance, including any time it is vacant between renters. Be polite to your neighbors and keep your home looking good at all times.

If you have a home near you that is vacant and is not being kept up, there are several things you can do to help. First, contact the HOA to let them know that the home appears vacant and specifically identify the problems with the property. Do this by e-mailing the ACC at acc@forest-ridge.org. The HOA will contact the homeowner to try to get the problems corrected. This may take some time, especially if the homeowner has changed their phone number and we can no longer find them. We will use all our resources to track down homeowners and they will be fined. However, we cannot force them to clean up the property as long as they are willing to pay the fines.

You can report long grass (more than 12 inches) to the appropriate county zoning board.  In our experience, this is the quickest way to get the grass mowed. Ask your neighbors to report the problem as well.  The more reports they get, the more likely something will be done. 

Third, if the home is listed for sale, contact the listing agent and let them know that the condition of the home is a problem. Again, the more people that call them, the more likely they will be to have someone come by to check it out.

Finally, Both Fairfax and Loudoun County have Blight Abatement Programs to reduce the number of unattractive, dangerous vacant houses in the county. See below for instructions on filing a complaint. Remember, the more complaints received, the quicker the county will act. So get your neighbors to file complaints as well.

Filing Complaints:

Loudoun County: Contact the County Administrator's Office at 703-777-0200 or coadmin@loudoun.gov. Include the following information: Property description (address, type of structure)
                  Length of time property has been in current state
                  Any additionaly information you have about the property or why it is in such condition
                  Your name, telephone number, and address

See the attached document for information about what happens to your complaint and how the investigation proceeds.

Fairfax County: All the info you need is on their website - http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/rha/blight.htm
Document
Loudoun Cty Blight Abatement Program