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General Laws

Section 3A. If the owner or his authorized agent fails to comply with an order issued pursuant to section three and the city or town demolishes or removes any burnt, dangerous or dilapidated building or structure or secures any vacant parcel of land from a trespass, a claim for the expense of such demolition or removal, including the cost of leveling the lot to uniform grade by a proper sanitary fill, or securing such vacant parcel shall constitute a debt due the city or town upon the completion of demolition, removal, or securing and the rendering of an account therefor to the owner or his authorized agent, and shall be recoverable from such owner in an action of contract.

Any such debt, together with interest thereon at the rate of six per cent per annum from the date such debt becomes due, shall constitute a lien on the land upon which the structure is or was located if a statement of claim, signed by the mayor or the board of selectmen, setting forth the amount claimed without interest is filed, within ninety days after the debt becomes due, with the register of deeds for record or registration, as the case may be, in the county or in the district, if the county is divided into districts, where the land lies. Such lien shall take effect upon the filing of the statement aforesaid and shall continue for two years from the first day of October next following the date of such filing. If the debt for which such a lien is in effect remains unpaid when the assessors are preparing a real estate tax list and warrant to be committed under section fifty-three of chapter fifty-nine, the mayor or the board of selectmen, or the town collector of taxes, if applicable under section thirty-eight A of chapter forty-one, shall certify such debt to the assessors, who shall forthwith add such debt to the tax on the property to which it relates and commit it with their warrant to the collector as part of such tax. If the property to which such debt relates is tax exempt, such debt shall be committed as the tax. Upon commitment as a tax or part of a tax, such debt shall be subject to the provisions of law relative to interest on the taxes of which they become, or, if the property were not tax exempt would become, a part; and the collector of taxes shall have the same powers and be subject to the same duties with respect to such debts as in the case of annual taxes upon real estate, and the provisions of law relative to the collection of such annual taxes, the sale or taking of land for the non-payment thereof, and the redemption of land so sold or taken shall, except as otherwise provided, apply to such claims. A lien under this section may be discharged by filing with the register of deeds for record or registration, as the case may be, in the county or in the district, if the county is divided into districts, where the land lies, a certificate from the collector of the city or town that the debt constituting the lien, together with any interest and costs thereon, has been paid or legally abated. All costs of recording or discharging a lien under this section shall be borne by the owner of the property.

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