Article II – Definitions
and Duties
§ 48-21.   General
A. 
Scope. Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following terms shall, for the purposes of this Code, have the
meanings shown in this section. 
B. 
Interchangeability. Words stated in the present tense include the future; words stated in the masculine
gender include the feminine and neuter; the singular number includes the plural and the plural, the singular. 
C. 
Terms defined in other codes. Where terms are not defined in this Code and are defined in the North
Carolina Building Code, North Carolina Fire Prevention Code, Henderson County Land 
Development
Code, North Carolina
Plumbing Code, North Carolina
Mechanical Code, North Carolina Existing Building
Code or the North Carolina Electrical Code, such terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them as in
those codes. 
D. 
Terms not defined. Where terms are not defined through the methods authorized by this Article, such terms
shall have ordinarily accepted meanings such as the context implies. 
E. 
Parts. Whenever the words “dwelling unit,” “dwelling,” “premises,” “building,” “rooming house,”
“rooming unit” “housekeeping unit” or “story” are stated in this Code, they shall be construed as though
they were followed by the words “or any part thereof.” 
§ 48-22.  Definitions
The following terms are defined for purposes of this chapter:
(1)   Appellant - One who appeals a judicial decision.
(2)   Approved - Approved refers to approval by the Code official as the result of investigation and tests  
conducted by him or her, and/or by reason of accepted principles or tests by nationally recognized
organizations. 
(3)   Basement. - That portion of a building which is partly or completely below grade. 
(4)
Bathroom Group - A group of fixtures, including or excluding a bidet, consisting of a water closet,  
lavatory, and bathtub or shower. Such fixtures are located on the same floor level. 
(5)
Bedroom - Any room or space used or intended to be used for sleeping purposes. 
(6)
Code Official - The official who is charged with the administration and enforcement of this code, or any
duly authorized representative. 
(7)
Condemn - To judge unfit for occupancy.
(8)
Court - A space, open and unobstructed to the sky, located at or above grade level on a lot and bounded on
three or more sides by walls or a building. 
  (9)   Dead Load - The weight of materials of construction incorporated into the building, including but not  
limited
to walls, floors, ceilings, stairways, built-in partitions, finishes, cladding, and other similarly  
incorporated architectural and structural items, and fixed service equipment.
(10)
Department - The department responsible for the administration and enforcement of this Code. 
(11)
Deteriorated - A dwelling unit that is unfit for human habitation and can be repaired, altered, or improved
to comply with all of the minimum standards established by this Chapter, at a cost not in excess of 50
percent of its value, as determined by the findings of the Code official.
(12)
Dilapidated - A dwelling unit that is unfit for human habitation and can be repaired, altered, or improved to
comply with all of the minimum standards established by this Chapter, at a cost of more than 50 percent of
its value, as determined by the findings of the Code official.
(13)
Dwelling Unit - A single unit providing complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons,
including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.
(14)
Easement - That portion of land or property reserved for present or future use by a person or agency other
than the legal fee owner(s) of the property. The easement shall be permitted to be for use under, on or
above a said lot or lots. 
(15)
Exterior Property- The open space on the premises and on adjoining property under the control of owners
or operators of such premises. 
(16)
Extermination - The control and elimination of insects, rats or other pests by eliminating their harborage
places; by removing or making inaccessible, materials that serve as their food; by poison spraying,
fumigating, trapping or by any other approved pest elimination methods.
(17)
Garbage - All putrescible waste, including animal offal and carcasses, excluding sewage and human waste. 
(18)
Guard - A building component or a system of building components located at or near the open sides of
  
elevated walking surfaces that minimizes the possibility of a fall from the walking surface to a lower level. 
(19)
Habitable Space - Space in a structure for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. 
Bathrooms, toilet rooms,
closets, halls, storage or utility spaces, and similar areas are not considered habitable spaces. 
(20)
Housekeeping Unit - A room or group of rooms forming a single habitable space equipped and intended to
be used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating which does not contain, within such a unit, a toilet, lavatory
and bathtub or shower. 
(21)
Imminent Danger - A condition which could cause serious or life-threatening injury or death at any time. 
(22)
Infestation - The presence, within or contiguous to, a structure or premises of insects, rats, vermin or other
pests. 
(23)
Inoperable Motor Vehicle - A vehicle which cannot be driven upon the public streets for reason
including but not limited to being unlicensed, wrecked, abandoned, in a state of disrepair, or
incapable of being moved under its own power. 
(24)
Labeled - Devices, equipment, appliances, or materials to which has been affixed a label, seal, symbol or
other identifying mark of a nationally recognized testing laboratory, inspection agency or other
organization concerned with product evaluation that maintains periodic inspection of the production of the
above-labeled items and by whose label the manufacturer attests to compliance with applicable nationally
recognized standards. 
(25)
Let For Occupancy Or Let - To permit, provide or offer possession or occupancy of a dwelling, dwelling
unit, rooming unit, building, premise or structure by a person who is or is not the legal owner of record
thereof, pursuant to a written or unwritten lease, agreement or license, or pursuant to a recorded or
unrecorded agreement of contract for the sale of land. 
(26)
Live Load - Those loads produced by the use and occupancy of the building or other structure and do not
include construction or environmental loads such as wind load, snow load, rain load, earthquake load, flood
load or dead load.
(27)    Occupancy -The purpose for which a building or portion thereof is utilized or occupied. 
(28)
Occupant - Any individual living or sleeping in a building, or having possession of a space within a
building. 
(29)
Openable Area - That part of a window, skylight or door which is available for unobstructed ventilation and
which opens directly to the outdoors. 
(30)
Operator - Any person who has charge, care or control of a structure or premises which is let or offered for
occupancy. 
(31)
Owner - Any person, agent, operator, firm or corporation having a legal or equitable interest in the
property; or recorded in the official records of the state, county or municipality as holding title to the
property; or otherwise having control of the property, including the guardian of the estate of any such per-
son, and the executor or administrator of the estate of such person if ordered to take possession of real
property by a court. 
(32)    Person - An individual, corporation, partnership or any other group acting as a unit. 
(33)    Premises - A lot, plot or parcel of land, easement or public way, including any structures thereon. 
(34)
Public Nuisance - Any activity or failure to act that adversely affects the public and shall include, but is not
limited to, any condition which poses an immediate and direct hazard to human health if left unheeded due
to the existence of the condition itself or due to the immediate threat of transmission of disease through
insects, animals, or other means of transmission or infections.
(35)
Public Way - Any street, alley or similar parcel of land essentially unobstructed from the ground 
to the
sky, which is deeded, dedicated or otherwise permanently appropriated to the public for public use and that
has a clear width and height of not less than ten feet. 
(36)
Putrescible - Solid waste capable of being decomposed by microorganisms including, but not limited, to
kitchen waste.
(37)
Rooming House - A building arranged or occupied for lodging, with or without meals, for compensation
and not occupied as a one- or two-family dwelling. 
(38)
Rooming Unit - Any room or group of rooms forming a single habitable unit occupied or intended to be
occupied for sleeping or living, but not for cooking purposes. 
(39)
Rubbish - Solid or liquid waste from residences.
(40)
Strict Liability Offense - An offense in which the prosecution in a legal proceeding is not required to prove
criminal intent as a part of its case.  It is enough to prove that the defendant either did an act which was
prohibited, or failed to do an act which the defendant was legally required to do. 
(41)
Structure - That which is built or constructed or a portion thereof. 
  
(41A)
Telephonic Notice – Notice given by means of telephone communication with the person being given
notice by the Code official, documented by the Code official in a manner similar to that for telephone
notice of a witness subpoenaed to testify by a Sheriff under the Rules of Civil Procedure.
(42)
Tenant - A person, corporation, partnership or group, whether or not the legal owner of record,
occupying a building or portion thereof as a unit. 
(43)
Toilet Room - A room including or excluding a bidet and or urinal, containing a water closet, lavatory but
not a bathtub or shower. 
(44)
Ventilation - The natural or mechanical process of supplying conditioned or unconditioned air to, or
removing such air from, any space. 
(45)
Workmanlike - Executed in a skilled manner; e.g., generally plumb, level, square, in line, undamaged and
without marring adjacent work. 
(46)
Yard - An open space, other than a court, unobstructed from the ground to the sky, except where
specifically provided by this Code, on the lot on which a building is situated.
§48-23.  Duties of Owner
Upon the receipt of a notice of violation from a Code Official, the Owner shall:
A.
Attend a meeting at the Dwelling Unit with the Code  Official, on a date and at a time set by the Code
Official (to be during the County’s regular business hours), upon Telephonic Notice or written notice of the
same given by the Code Official.  The meeting shall be held upon not less than (i) five (5) business days’
notice for non-emergency violations as designated by the Code Official, or (ii) upon reasonable notice
under the circumstances (but not less than twenty-four (24) hours), for emergency violations designed by
the Code Official.
B.
Remedy violations of the Minimum Housing Code within (i) ten (10) business days of the meeting with the
Code Official required in §48-23A., above, unless the Code Official has designated the violation as an
emergency.
C.
Remedy violations of the Minimum Housing Code within a reasonable time (not less than twenty-four (24)
hours) set by the Code Official in situations designated by the Code Official as an emergency. 
   D.
Provide the Code Official with a means of telephonic contact by which the Code Official can actually
contact the Owner.
§48-24.  Duties of Tenant
The Tenant shall have the following duties under this Chapter:
A.
To meet with the Code Official, during the County’s normal business hours, upon not less than twenty-four
(24) hours’ Telephone Notice from the Code Official, on the Premises.
B.
To allow the Owner or the Owner’s agent access to the Premises and Dwelling Unit during reasonable
times to remedy violations under this Chapter.  Notice to the Tenant of the date and time of the access shall
be given by the Code Official by Telephonic Notice.
C.
To provide the Code Official with a means of telephonic contact by which the Code Official can actually
contact the Tenant.
If the Tenant fails to meet with the Code Official or allow the access required hereunder, the Code Official may
deem the complaint withdrawn.