Stranger Things: The Oddest Laws in Real Estate Compliance

One of the biggest pop culture moments to make SiteCompli water cooler chat was the Netflix hit Stranger Things. While bingeing our newest favorite show, we couldn’t help but wonder about the “stranger things” in compliance. Here are some of the oddest pieces of real estate legislation we found:

Talk about sidewalk violations

Section 24-17 of the Galveston, TX Code of Ordinances outlines a law against standing or sitting on a city sidewalk (“so as to impede…free and uninterrupted pedestrian passage”). Violators may be fined up to $500 for a sitting/standing sidewalk offense. Yikes.

The grass is always greener on the other side of the spite fence

Spite fences are structures (fences, trees, etc.) built with no use or purpose, and typically constructed to annoy a neighbor. In some cases, property owners can sue if a spite fence detracts from the comfort or enjoyment of their property, or causes a nuisance by shutting out light and air. Plaintiffs would have to prove that the fence was an actual nuisance (which varies depending on local regulations/case law).

You gotta fight for your right to water

Cambria, California requires a property to own water rights in order to have water/sewer hookups. The demand for water rights is so high that the wait list to acquire them has been closed since 1990. There are currently 665 single family homes and 10 commercial properties on the wait list.

Full (supernatural) disclosure not required

Massachusetts law mentions that “an alleged parapsychological or supernatural phenomenon” is not a material fact that needs to be disclosed in a real estate transaction. While parties are still not allowed to make false statements or misrepresentations, being upfront about a haunted house isn’t a requirement in the Bay State.

Strange or not, we’ve got your back when it comes to NYC real estate compliance. From all of us at SiteCompli, we hope you had a happy and candy-filled Halloween!

Image courtesy of text generator. 

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About the Author

Kristen Hariton

Kristen Hariton is the Vice President, Product Engagement at SiteCompli, focused on exploring new solutions and innovations in property operations tech. When she's not sharing the latest industry trends, changes, and updates, she's planning her next adventure to Walt Disney World.