§48-8. Unsafe Structures and Equipment
General. When a structure or equipment is found by the Code official to be unsafe, or when a structure is
found unfit for human occupancy, or is found unlawful, such structure shall be condemned pursuant to
the provisions of this Code.
Unsafe structures. An unsafe structure is one that is found to be dangerous to the life, health,
property or safety of the public or the occupants of the structure by not providing minimum
safeguards to protect or warn occupants in the event of fire, or because such structure contains
unsafe equipment or is so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, structurally unsafe or of such faulty
construction or unstable foundation, that partial or complete collapse is possible.
Unsafe equipment. Unsafe equipment includes any boiler, heating equipment, elevator
(apartments), moving stairway (apartments), electrical wiring or device, flammable liquid
containers or other equipment on the premises or within the structure which is in such disrepair or
condition that such equipment is a hazard to life, health, property or safety of the public or
occupants of the premises or structure.
Structure unfit for human occupancy. A structure is unfit for human occupancy whenever the
Code official finds that such structure is unsafe, unlawful or, because of the degree to which the
structure is in disrepair or lacks maintenance, is unsanitary, vermin or rat infested, contains filth
and contamination, or lacks ventilation, illumination, sanitary or heating facilities or other
essential equipment required by this Code, because the location of the structure constitutes a
hazard to the occupants of the structure or to the public or if it appears to the Code official
to be in such dilapidated condition as to cause or contribute to blight, disease, vagrancy, fire or
safety hazard, to be a danger to children, or to tend to attract persons intent on criminal activities
or other activities which would constitute a public nuisance.
Unlawful structure. An unlawful structure is one found in whole or in part to be occupied by more
persons than permitted under this Code, or was erected, altered or occupied contrary to law.
Closing of vacant structures. If the structure is vacant and unfit for human habitation and occupancy, and
is not in danger of structural collapse, the Code official is authorized to post a placard of condemnation
on the premises and order the structure closed up so as not to attract a public nuisance. Upon failure of
the owner to close up the premises within the time specified in the order, the Code official shall cause the
premises to be closed and secured through any available public agency or by contract or arrangement by
private persons and the cost thereof shall be charged against the real estate upon which the structure is
located and shall be a lien upon such real estate and may be collected by any other legal resource.
Notice. Whenever the Code official has condemned a structure or equipment under the provisions of this
section, notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place outside of the structure affected by such notice and
served on the owner or the person or persons responsible for the structure or equipment in accordance
with Section 48-7.C. If the notice pertains to equipment, it shall also be placed on the condemned
equipment. The notice shall be in the form prescribed in Section 48-7.C
Placarding. Upon failure of the owner or person responsible to comply with the notice provisions within
the time given, the Code official shall post on the premises or on defective equipment a placard bearing
the word Condemned and a statement of the penalties provided for occupying the premises, operating
the equipment or removing the placard.
Placard removal. The Code official shall remove the condemnation placard whenever the defect or
defects upon which the condemnation and placarding action were based have been eliminated.
Any person who defaces or removes a condemnation placard without the approval of the Code
official shall be subject to the penalties provided by this Code.
Prohibited occupancy. Any occupied structure condemned and placarded by the Code official shall be
vacated as ordered by the Code official. Any person who shall occupy a placarded premise or shall
operate placarded equipment, and any owner or any person responsible for the premises who shall let
anyone occupy a placarded premise or operate placarded equipment shall be liable for the penalties
provided by this Code.