My dad is buried on private property in a family cemetery in Texas. 100 feet away is a dilapidated structure that stands over two stories tall and is crumbling. It is so unsafe that I will not take my daughter to the site and hesitate to go myself. There is also evidence of vagrants that is a clear safety issue.
Once my dad was buried, I was locked out for over a week, and I had to beg for the lock combination. I now have access, only to find it is unsafe. The property owner is not cooperative. The county commissioner is sympathetic, but needs an applicable law.
Is there a law that could help to improve safety or get the building removed? Can "reasonable ingress & egress" be applied to say that it is not reasonable to put ourselves in harms' way in order to visit the grave?The county commissioner also says that the location is so rural that there are not building codes. Even though the structure would break all of the codes in a city, they cannot be applied here.
If you have a right under Texas law to enter the private cemetery to visit your father's grave, then the structure may be a nuisance. Nuisances generally are any condition on property that unreasonably interfere with another person's legal right to use and enjoy property.
You may have additional rights under any contract, easement or deed for the grave site.
You need to confer with an attorney. I would try to talk to the county's attorney about the problem to see if he or she can come up with an approach, but you may have to confer with a local private attorney to get a full answer.
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