The fast answer is yes, you can sell a condemned house! The longer, more detailed answer we’ll cover in today’s article.
First thing to know is that a condemned house in may occur in due process when certain building codes are in violation of the state building code. The home is not safe to live in. If necessary, acting through the proper legal channels, the house may be seized and occupants (if any) are asked to leave until the issues are resolved.
You might know of a condemned house next to you or in your neighborhood most likely because of meth contamination in your house. Or you might have inherited a property with some serious building code issues. In either case you might be in situation where you might want to sell that condemned house asap. Today we’ll share everything you need to know about helping you make that decision easier.
What Happens if You Have a Condemned House?
When you think of a condemned house the image of a run-down shack with boarded up windows probably comes to mind. While this is often the case, sometimes a home can look nice on the outside but be deemed by a building code inspector as unsafe for living on the inside.
A house is condemned when your county building code inspector or county health department deems it unfit or unsafe to live in. This process can take some time though. It’s not an over-night process from a property becoming condemned to it no longer being condemned.
What are Grounds for House Condemnation?
Your home, the house you know of or the house you inherited could be condemned for several reasons including:
- Severe damage from weather or fire damage that compromises the structural integrity of the house.
- The building has been vacant and boarded up for a lengthy period of time with utilities discontinued.
- The building is older and may have been constructed with materials that are no longer considered safe or usable.
- The building has health hazards such as extensive black mold, termite or rodent infestations.
- Another health hazard that could condemn a house would be if the building was once used to store or manufacture illegal drugs or toxins like a meth house. Even someone using meth in a house a couple of times can cause a house to be condemned in Utah.
- If the home is dilapidated, unhygienic and vacant then the neighbors can form & submit complaints to the county authority that may lead to condemning a house/property. A house that sits vacant in bad condition can encourage squatters or transients to enter making the neighborhood less safe. So it’s in your best interest most times to report houses in this situation sooner than later.
- Often a house or building will be condemned because of repeated housing code violations over the safety of the building.
How to report a house that needs to be condemned
If you know of a house/property that meets condemned standards then here are a few direct links to some Utah counties that will help guide you through the steps to submit your request:
- Salt Lake County Health/House Department
- West Valley City Code Enforcement
- Ogden City Property Code Violations
- St George City Code Violations
How to Get Your Property off Condemned Status
In many cases all is not lost once you receive news that your property is condemned. Depending on the circumstances you can work out a plan for renovation and repair with the building authorities. Once the necessary repairs have been made and the home is considered up to code following a full-home inspection then it is possible to reverse the condemned status of your home.
In the case of meth in Utah, the meth can be remediated form the house and the house tested by the local health department. The average 4 bedroom house will cost about $7000 to clean and $10,000 to replace the carpet, repaint and repair the HVAC ducts. Sometimes there are additional costs to replace damaged cabinets etc. Meth clean-up and the repairs that follow can easily approach $30,000. One can sell a house that is currently condemned as long as the buyer knows.
How to Fight a Condemned Status Complaint or Request
You are able to fight the condemned status of your property. In this instance you would need to attend a condemnation hearing. You may or may not receive a lot of notice but you would need to be present at the hearing after being notified of the date and time by the county Board of Health of SLC county for example.
It’s important to note that for example the Salt Lake County health board says; “Though we often work together to accomplish related goals, health department housing inspectors are not building inspectors, and the health department does not have the legal power to “condemn” a structure. Note that municipal building inspectors may have requirements, beyond those of the health department, before a property can be used or occupied legally.” (source)
At your hearing anyone that is directly affected by the condemnation can speak out against it. If you are able to show that the building is structurally sound or show a plan for specific repairs then you might have a case for saving your home from condemned status.
Bringing in an expert to testify about the specifics of your property can also help at a condemnation hearing. If, at the end of the hearing, the building inspector can prove that the property still poses immediate danger to the tenants or homeowners then vacating the property may be required.
If the home is deemed unsafe but fixable then you can ask the judge to order repairs to avoid condemnation. If you can prove you have the funds to make the repairs and there is no danger to repairmen working on the property then you stand a good chance of avoiding condemned status.
Eminent Domain and Condemned Houses
There are certain cases where a home can become condemned without safety or health issues. A house can be condemned when it is located in an area designate for public use or construction. When this happens public authorities may exercise the power of eminent domain, allowing the government to seize private land.
If you find yourself in this situation then your home would be condemned — marked for demolition because of it’s location not it’s safety — to make way for public projects like roads or facilities.
When eminent domain takes place housing authorities work with owners to come to an agreement and to fairly compensate for the loss of property by offering a payment of the appraised value of the property.
In a case of eminent domain, the housing authority will usually make every reasonable effort to reach an agreement with the property owner.
What is the Process When a House is Condemned?
Condemning a house isn’t something that is taken lightly or done quickly. Usually a house will only reach condemned status when all other steps have failed to improve the safety and condition of the building.
If you are the homeowner you will receive a written notice that the building must be vacated and a sign would be attached to the building notifying others that the property is unsafe.
As the owner of the building you may be ordered to repair or demolish the building so it’s important to reach out and seek legal advice about the best course of action when dealing with a condemned home.
Can You Sell a Condemned Home?
While a traditional buyer would not be interested in purchasing a home that has been condemned, a non-traditional home buyer like Gary has the experience and team to take on a condemned house. If you are hoping to avoiding fighting the condemned status in court, or dealing with the headache that comes with seeking legal help and working with the community and housing authorities about your home then seeking out a house buying company might just be the perfect solution for you. You can save yourself the extensive time and money of repairs and the need to find alternate living conditions while all that work goes on by selling your home to us. Gary is ready to make a fast and fair cash offer for your home and is willing to take on condemned properties (except in the case of eminent domain of course). If you are interested in selling your condemned home to Gary then reach out today and have a closing date in as little as 7 days.