The Kobe City Government began the forced demolition of a dilapidated and abandoned building in Futatabisujicho, Chuo-ku in May. This is the second time since 2010 that the city has carried out a forced demolition.
The 2-storey wood-framed building was built sometime in the 1950s ~ 1960s. The exterior walls were cracked and the building was beginning to collapse. Nearby residents were concerned that it could collapse and damage neighbouring homes and petitioned the city in 2010 to take action.
The city tried to contact the owners – one of whom had already died – but the surviving owner ignored all of the city’s correspondence and requests. The city eventually decided to carry out the demolition without the owner’s permission due to the hazard posed by the building. The surviving owner will be billed for 50% of the 1.4 million Yen in demolition costs.
According to recent estimates, there are over 90 buildings in Kobe City that are deemed hazardous.
The Building Standards Act has provisions which allow the forced demolition of privately-owned homes and buildings if they are deemed to pose a danger to the community and the owners ignore requests to take action.
Source: The Sankei Shimbun, May 21, 2014.