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(A) Definitions. The following words, terms, and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
ACCESSIBLE PROPERTY. A property that is accessible through a compromised, breached, or broken gate, fence, or other entry point.
DAYS. Consecutive calendar days.
ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL. The City Administrator, Building and Neighborhood Services (“BNS”), the fire chief, the chief of police, and/or any of the city department officials, including code enforcement officers, who are responsible for enforcing the provisions of this chapter.
FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER (FED) and/or EVICTION. Any action for possession of real property brought under or pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 648 and any and all resulting orders of the Court returning possession to the party instituting the action.
FORECLOSURE. Procedure whereby property pledged as security for a debt is sold to pay the debt in the event of default in payments or terms.
OWNER. Any person, partnership, association, corporation, fiduciary, or other legal entity having a legal or equitable title or any interest in real property.
OWNER OF RECORD. The person holding recorded title to the property at any point in time when official records are produced by the county recorder’s office.
PROPERTY. Any unimproved or improved real property, or portion thereof, situated in the city and includes the buildings or structures located on the property regardless of condition.
SECURING. Such measures as may be directed by an enforcement official that assist in rendering the real property inaccessible to unauthorized persons, including, but not limited to, repairing fences and walls, chaining or padlocking of gates, and the repairing or boarding of doors, windows, or other openings.
TRANSFERRED PROPERTY. Any property for which ownership, title, or lawful possession is transferred to another, whether by agreement in resolution of a legal proceeding or by force or court order. For purposes of this section, TRANSFERRED PROPERTY shall include, but shall not be limited to, property transferred by foreclosure (or by deed in lieu of foreclosure), tax sale processes, or inheritance. Transfers of possession pursuant to court order in an eviction (FED) action shall also be deemed TRANSFERRED PROPERTY for purposes of this section.
VACANT. Any building, structure, or real property that is unoccupied or occupied by a person without a legal right of occupancy.
(B) Security requirements.
(1) All transferred properties shall be maintained in a secure manner so as not to be accessible to unauthorized persons. This includes, without limitation, the closure and locking of windows, doors (walk-through, sliding, and garage), gates, and any other opening of such size that it may allow a child to access the interior of the property and or structure(s). In the case of broken windows, “securing” means the reglazing or boarding of the window.
(2) If the post-transfer owner of a transferred property is an out-of-state owner, a local property management company shall be contracted by such owner to perform appropriate and timely inspections to verify that the requirements of this section, and any other applicable laws, have been satisfied.
(3) The post-transfer owner shall cause the property to be inspected on an appropriate and timely basis to determine if the property is in compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
(C) Maintenance requirements.
(1) All transferred properties and any property otherwise acquired through legal processes or by court order must be brought into compliance with all city code requirements within 48 hours of the initial transfer of possession or recording of title, whichever occurs first, regardless of the means by which ownership or possession is transferred. An owner shall be deemed to be in compliance with this requirement if within the same 48 hour period they submit a remediation plan for the transferred property and receive written approval of said remediation plan from Clinton BNS.
(2) Adherence to this chapter does not relieve the beneficiary or property owner of any obligations set forth in any covenants, conditions and restrictions or homeowners’ association rules and regulations which may apply to the property. The duties and obligations specified in this chapter shall be joint and several among and between all trustees and beneficiaries and their respective agents.
(D) Enforcement. This section is intended to be cumulative to, and not in place of, other rights and remedies available to the city pursuant to this chapter. The City Attorney’s office and the city’s enforcement officials have the authority to enforce this chapter, including the pursuit of any right or remedy permitted by this code, including, but not limited to, commencement of any civil action or administrative action to abate any nuisances.
(E) Penalty. Failure to comply with the provisions of this Section may be deemed an emergency nuisance pursuant to § 90.11 of this chapter, and as such, the city is authorized to proceed in a manner consistent with the emergency provision set forth therein. Any person, firm partnership, corporation, or other legal entity, including the property owner and, if applicable, a landlord, violating this section commits a municipal infraction. Any violation of this section may be pursued as a municipal infraction according to the terms of § 90.99 in lieu of criminal prosecution. Each calendar day a violation is allowed to continue shall constitute a separate and distinct violation.
(Ord. 2610, passed 4-23-2019)