Are There Deserted Or Abandoned Mansions In Los Angeles?

Deserted Or Abandoned Mansions In Los Angeles

Last Updated on August 1, 2023 By Emma W. Thomas

Yes, there are deserted or abandoned mansions in Los Angeles. It is estimated that there were around 200 to 300 vacant or derelict mansions in the city, some of which are considered “ghost mansions.”

What Are Some Of The Abandoned Mansions In Los Angeles?

 Some of the great mansions that were abandoned and left empty for over a decade in Los Angeles include;

Mohammed Hadid’s Mega-Mansion

Mohammed Hadid’s Mega was a multimillionaire known as the father of supermodels Gigi and her sister Bella. His mansion is located on a hillside plot in Bel Air, LA. The mansion was always in a legal battle with the authorities ever since its construction in 2011, leading to so much controversy, especially due to its location. Initially, the mansion was supposed to be at least 14.00 square feet, but Hadid extended his property significantly without acquiring the necessary permits from Los Angeles authorities. 

When the authorities learned that his property ran over 30.00 square feet on the ground, they revoked the developer’s permit, indicating the closure of any construction work in the mansion. Hadid’s disregarded the closure and still carried on with the construction. After four years in a legal battle, Hadid lost the case to the villagers who expressed their fears of the mansion collapsing the entire hillside. The court ruled in their favor by declaring the mansion a clear and present danger. Hadid’s family moved out, and the mansion has ever since been abandoned.

Steve Job’s Mansion

The Apple co-founder had purchased the Jackling House in Woodside, California. At first, he was fond of the house, but he loathed it and moved out after some time. It remained vacant for a long time, and Steve Jobs kept on petitioning for its demolition for almost all the last years of his life. The 35-room mansion still had its splendor despite the peeling away of the paint. This mansion is known for its open-air balconies, games room, grand staircase and marble bathrooms, and perfect reception rooms with splendid chandeliers.

 Since Jobs lost his fight against cancer before winning the demolition of the mansion, it started to fall apart as there is no one taking care of it. However, nature started taking its course, with vines covering most parts of the property and mold creeping across the ceilings. The government demolished the home, but they collected several artifacts before it was destroyed. 

David Gilmour’s Home

David bought the 11-bedroom mansion in 1980, where he recorded several of his albums. He later sold the property to Trevor Horn, who turned the house into a luxe recording venue. This house was rumored to have been haunted by ghosts of a monk as described by Smith’s singer Morrissey. After a tragedy, the house was abandoned when Trevor’s wife, Jill, was accidentally shot by their son while practicing with an air rifle. She fell into a coma from which she never recovered. Her death was followed by Trevor’s decision to sell the property to a producer, Mark White. After being used as a studio, the house was neglected for some time with dilapidated interiors.

Liza Minnelli’s Childhood Home

Vincente Minnelli bought a Spanish revival mansion located in LA after divorcing his wife, Judy Garland. Liza spent most of her childhood time in the mansion, which her father lavishly decorated. There were numerous chandeliers and other opulent fabrics and furniture. In 1986, her father died, and the house was immediately passed down to her under one condition. She allowed his fourth wife, Lee, to live in the mansion for as long as she desired. 

This condition was followed for a few years until Liza put up the mansion for sale and offered Lee a condo which she turned down and burnt. Lee continued staying in the mansion even after it was sold in 2002.

Liza paid for Lee’s bills and rent to the buyers during her stay there until she died in 2009, leaving the home to languish and decay. It is sad to see the home appear abandoned, with peppered ceilings and wallpaper peeling away. 

Other abandoned mansions in Los Angeles include Prince Andrew and Fergie’s sunning hill park, George Boris Becker’s bolt hole, the famous Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, and Mike Tyson’s lavish mansion. 

Why Are Perfectly Good-Looking Mansions Abandoned?

 Sometimes, the reason for abandoning perfect and good-looking mansions is not always the owner’s decision. The following are some of the reasons why people abandoned good mansions;

High Maintenance Costs

There are times when a home needs to undergo renovations and repairs, for example, on electrical wiring, water pipes, among other repairs. These repairs tend to be pricy and hence not cost-effective. The cost of bringing a house to life considering the associated costs of renovations, replumbing, and rewiring makes one opt to live elsewhere at a lower price. Maintaining such a house is also very costly, starting with the associated electrical and water bills, not forgetting the servants. 

Environmental And Sustainability Issues

Homeowners are at some point required to get rid of septic tanks and old wiring that may appear to be life-threatening. Other factors such as asbestos are associated with lead-infused paint, hence posing a health risk. For this reason, most homeowners opt to build another less expensive house instead of incurring costs associated with refurbishing their enormous mansions. Refurbishing the cost of such real estate pieces can be quite expensive.

Death Of The Surrounding Neighbourhood

Some areas tend to stagnate as a result of slow development. In such cases, landlords fail to associate themselves with properties in such a neighborhood as they might not get any profits from their investments. People do not like living in a neighborhood without the requisite amenities. It is also impossible for business people to invest in a dying neighborhood, and the beat goes on. Any mansion in such a location will lose its value and fail to attract any potential buyers. It is most likely to grow old and get damaged to the extent that the owner will opt to leave it instead of incurring renovation costs.

Reluctance By Families To Sell

Some families prefer their generations to live in their family home all their lives. They do not wish to see their family houses fall into the hands of strangers to the extent they prefer to watch them go down the drain instead of selling. An example is Lee, Liza Minnelli’s stepmother, who refused to leave their mansion even after it was sold. Some people even die without leaving any directives on what will happen to the property upon their death, leaving the mansion in limbo.

Difficulty In Selling

An individual may put up their mansion for sale, but there may be no potential buyers for some reason. An example is Hadid’s mansion which was constructed on a hilltop. Even if the owner wanted to sell the mansion, it might be impossible. First, the villagers and the Los Angeles authorities were against the construction, which is enough reason for the property not to attract any buyers.

 Poor photography of the mansion could cost the property a turn down by potential buyers. Some mansions are just difficult to sell as they may be poorly located or the marketer did not put up the perfect details that would attract buyers. 

Natural And Ecological Disasters

Most often, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, earthquakes, and other natural disasters cause families to vacate their family mansions and locate to another area. In most cases, when people leave their family homes for safety purposes, they do not return. For this reason, there are many abandoned houses and mansions worldwide, and LA is no exception. 

Other environmental factors such as air pollution, plagues, and contamination could also lead people to move out and leave their property behind. Lack of water is an ecological factor that has troubled many homes. Considering that mansions require a lot of water for their maintenance, it is reason enough to abandon one and move to a smaller condo or apartment with water availability.

Can You Buy An Abandoned Mansion In Los Angeles?

Buying an abandoned mansion in LA is possible, but the process involved can be very tedious and long. However, if you are patient and resilient with the process, you can be lucky enough to buy the mansion. Some may be difficult to buy as they still have pending legal cases. In some cases, the next of kin of the owners cannot be traced, making the mansion sale an impossibility. For this reason, research is required before you decide to buy an abandoned property in LA.


There are abandoned mansions in Los Angeles. As earlier seen, they result from death, separation, or following legal requirements from the relevant authorities. Others are abandoned due to the owners being jailed or children moving out of their parent’s home, such as Liza Minnelli, who decided to live elsewhere after her father’s death.