What Happens to a Condemned House?

Robin Hill Last Updated Oct 25, 2019 (0) comment

What Happens to a Condemned House

What Does It Mean When a House is Condemned?

What happens to a condemned house?  A government entity can condemn a house if it has determined that the building is unsafe, an eyesore, a threat to the community, and no longer fit to live in. The reasons a house may be “condemned” are different from “condemnation” or “eminent domain,” which is a government seizure of private property for public use.

Reasons to Condemn a House

A house is condemned when it violates the local housing code or the local government’s standards of occupancy. If you are unable to fix the issues, you will be forced to move out.

Here are a few reasons that the government may condemn a building.

1. Disconnected Utilities

A home that does not have any utilities, such as running water or electricity, connected to it may be condemned.

2. Abandoned

A house may be condemned if it has been abandoned and boarded up for an extended period of time.

3. Specific Hazards

An inspector may list specific hazards or housing code violations that deem the building unsafe to live in. For example, black mold, extensive termite damage, or weather-related structural damages are reasons for a house to be condemned.

4. Dilapidated

An inspector may also declare a house “dilapidated” without citing any specific violations. In general, the house is likely in a state of complete disrepair.

5. Unsanitary Living Conditions

Unsanitary living conditions are grounds to condemn a house but go beyond personal preferences for hygiene. The health conditions must make the home uninhabitable. For example, if an occupant has a hoarding disorder, which leads to foul odors coming from the apartment, the health of the tenant, as well as the overall community, may be endangered.

If a House Is Condemned, Does the Homeowner Have to Leave the Property?

What happens to a condemned house?  Once a house is condemned, the homeowner is given a notice to leave the property and vacate the premises. The residents may have up to 30 days to comply with the evacuation. However, local ordinances, as well as the hazard level of the house, may change how long the compliance period is.

How to Fix a Condemned Status

The owner can usually negotiate with the building authority to rehabilitate or repair a house with a condemned status. If you can fix the issues and pass code compliance before the compliance period is up, you can probably stay in your home.

However, repairs and code compliance, which typically requires a complete inspection of the entire building, can be costly and time-consuming. It can be more complicated if you are renting your home and need to communicate with your tenants. In some areas, residents can apply for city assistance to help with relocation while repairs are made.

Removing the condemned status of your home is a legal process. Except in the case of eminent domain, condemned status does not necessarily mean that you will lose your home.

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