Numerous old palaces and villas in Romania are falling prey to neglect. Investors are being deliberately discouraged as former officers of the Securitate secret police attempt to win control over the Romanian real estate market.The aristocratic Kemeny family has been fighting a legal battle with the Romanian authorities for almost 20 years in order to win back some of its stately homes and estates in Transylvania. But the prospects are poor. One residence was turned into a mental hospital, for example, while another case was restarted due to procedural errors. The family is facing a war of attrition waged by former Securitate officers, who are busy securing the best properties on the market for themselves.