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1. BUILDING INSPECTOR
2. BUILDING PERMITS
3. BUILDING REGULATIONS
4. BUILDING MOVING
5. UNSAFE BUILDINGS
6. ADOPTED CODES
7. CONTRACTOR REGISTRATION
8. MINIMUM STANDARDS HOUSING CODE
9. PENAL PROVISION
9-103 Area of applicability
The Building Inspector is hereby authorized to enforce the regulations as prescribed in this chapter and as provided and set forth in the applicable sections of Ch. One of the International Building Code.
(2005 Code, § 9-101)
The Building Inspector or his or her assistant, upon notification from the permit holder or his or her agent, shall make the following inspections of the building or structure and shall either approve that portion of the construction as completed, or shall notify the permit holder or his or her agent that the work fails to comply with the requirements of the municipal code: foundation inspection after trenches are excavated and the necessary forms erected; inspection after the roof, framing, fire-blocking and backing is in place and all pipes, chimneys and vents are complete; rough-in plumbing under floor in walls before being covered; and final inspection after the building is completed and ready for occupancy. It shall be unlawful for any person to do work, or cause work to be done, beyond the point indicated in each successive inspection without the written approval of the Building Inspector or his or her assistant.
(2005 Code, § 9-102)
The provisions of this chapter, and the powers and authority of the Building Inspector, shall be applicable within the corporate limits and within the unincorporated zoning jurisdiction area beyond and adjacent to the city’s corporate boundaries.
(2005 Code, § 9-103)
9-201 Building permit required
9-202 Designation of fire limits
9-203 Duplicate to County Assessor
(A) Any person desiring to erect, construct, repair, alter, enlarge, demolish or relocate any building, dwelling, structure or cause the same to be done, shall file with the Building Inspector an application for a building permit. A building permit is required when an accessory use structure is greater than 120 square feet in size. A permit is not required for interior remodeling that does not require structural alterations such as re-roofing, siding, window replacement and similarities as determined by the Building Inspector. The applications shall be in writing on a form to be furnished by the Building Inspector for that purpose. Every such application shall set forth the legal description of the land upon which the construction or relocation is to take place, the nature of the use or occupancy, the principal dimensions, the estimated cost, the names of the owner, architect and contractor and such other information as may be requested thereon.
(B) Whenever there is a discrepancy between permit application procedures contained herein and those contained in any building code adopted by reference, the provisions contained herein shall govern.
(2005 Code, § 9-201) (Ord. 2406, passed 2-6-2018)
(A) All portions which shall comprise the area designated as C-2 District in the Zoning Ordinance, the location and boundaries of which shall be found on the map entitled “Zoning Map of the City of Holdrege” on file in the office of the city.
(B) Within the aforesaid fire limits, no structure shall be built, altered moved or enlarged unless such structure will be enclosed with walls constructed wholly of stone, well-burned brick, terra cotta, concrete or other masonry materials.
(2005 Code, § 9-202)
Whenever a building permit is issued for the erection, alteration or repair of any building within the municipality’s jurisdiction and the improvement is $1,000 or more, a report of such permit shall be issued to the County Assessor.
(2005 Code, § 9-203)
The Building Inspector shall charge and collect fees for issuance of permits. The amounts of such fees shall be set by resolution of the governing body and on file in the office of the city.
(2005 Code, § 9-204)
9-302 Footings, foundations, depth
9-303 Special provision: footings, floors, foundations
9-304 Concrete specifications
9-305 Roof load; wind load
9-306 Prefabricated buildings
9-307 Approval of materials
9-308 Prefabricated construction materials
9-309 Mobile and sectional homes
It shall be unlawful for the owner or any person in occupancy or control of a building or structure to fail to maintain such building or structure in a safe condition or to maintain in good working order any of the safeguards prescribed in this article.
(2005 Code, § 9-301)
Footings and foundations, unless otherwise specifically provided hereafter, shall be concrete and extend below the frost line which is hereby declared to be 36 inches below the finished surface of the ground. The minimum footing size shall be 16 inches wide by eight inches thick, except as noted below.
(2005 Code, § 9-302)
(A) Regulations for approved residential detached garages and small storage sheds 720 square feet or less may be one of the following.
(1) Floors and foundations shall be concrete four inches thick with six inch by six inch by ten ga steel mesh or approved fiber reinforced four-inch concrete and thickened edges 12 inches below finished ground level.
(2) Foundations and footings for any size garage, except as above may be poured concrete 36 inches below finished ground and eight inches wide.
(B) Minimum regulations for carports, column and pole supported structures may be supported on a continuous eight-inch wide by 36-inch deep concrete foundation wall or shall be a minimum of 12 inches of concrete around columns or poles 36 inches below finished ground level. Footings under columns or poles shall be a minimum of 12 square inches by eight inches thick and not over ten feet apart. Non-loading bearing walls, including spaces between columns and poles, shall have a concrete curtain wall a minimum of six inches wide and 12 inches below finished ground level. Regulations for pole supported agricultural buildings, as defined in the Building Code, shall be as specifically provided in the Building Code.
(2005 Code, § 9-303)
Garages, basement, terrace and porch floors and walks, when made of concrete, shall be of not less than four inches in thickness and shall be placed on a compacted bed. Concrete driveways shall be of not less than four inches in thickness.
(2005 Code, § 9-304)
(A) All buildings shall be designed to meet the following minimum requirements:
(1) Roof design load shall be no less than 30 pounds per square foot, except residential carports may be 20 pounds per square foot; and
(2) Wind load, 90 mph, exposure B.
(B) Provided, however, this section shall not apply to an approved agricultural building, as defined in the Building Code, or small residential storage sheds with floor space of 200 square feet or less.
(2005 Code, § 9-305) (Ord. 2318, passed 12-1-2009)
(A) The Building Inspector may require a certificate of compliance to the code signed and stamped by a registered engineer or architect. Prefabricated assemblies shall sustain, without failure or undue deflection, test loads equal to the combined dead load and the minimum live load strengths prescribed by this article for construction generally. Due compensation shall be supplied for loss of material in connection with the installation of pipes, conduits or other equipment. Panels that are required to be tested shall be tested after all chases and cavities for equipment have been cut. No additional material shall be removed from any prefabricated assembly during construction of the building or structure.
(B) Bolts or other devices designed to connect prefabricated assemblies shall be capable of developing the strength of members connected and to resist wind loads as specified in the provisions of this article pertaining to construction generally. Connections consisting of bolts or other devices between roofs and the supporting walls shall be capable of withstanding uplift equal to not less than five pounds per square foot of horizontally projected roof area in addition to withstanding the other stresses specified therein. Individual units or sections of prefabricated assemblies, either wall, roof, floor or ceiling, shall be so connected that joints shall be weather- and wind-proof; and such joints shall be properly caulked in the approved manner and covered, on the weather side, with approved battens or other approved weather covering. This section shall not apply to housing units bearing the seal of the state’s Department of Health certifying the compliance of the construction and the systems of such units with Department standards.
(2005 Code, § 9-306)
The Building Inspector and City Engineer may approve or disapprove any device, material or construction proposed to be used which is not specifically provided for in this article, basing his or her decision upon the results of satisfactory evidence from competent and impartial tests or investigations conducted by the National Bureau of Standards, American Society for Testing Materials, American Standards Association or other reputable agency, or made under his or her direction, that such material or types of construction meet the requirements of this article.
(2005 Code, § 9-307)
(A) All materials, arrangements of materials and methods of construction of prefabricated buildings or structures or prefabricated parts of buildings or structures, before being used, shall be approved by the Building Inspector as complying with the requirements of this article.
(B) If it appears to the Building Inspector that tests are necessary to determine the stability of the structural design of any prefabricated assembly, the Building Inspector may require such tests. During such tests, the assembly shall be subjected to loads acting at the same points and in the same direction as the loads that would fall upon it in the complete structure. The expense of such tests shall be paid by the contractor or, if there is no contractor, the owner of the property before the assembly is approved.
(C) Before the Building Inspector shall approve any prefabricated assembly, the contractor or, if there is no contractor, the owner of the property may be required to furnish a certificate, signed by a registered engineer or architect, or testing agency approved by the Building Inspector, of compliance with the requirements of this chapter. If mechanical equipment has been installed in an assembly in such a manner that it cannot be inspected by the Building Inspector, the certificate shall also specify that such equipment complies with the requirements of this chapter pertaining to the equipment. All compensation for such certifying services shall be paid by the contractor or owner of the property furnishing the certificate. Failure on the part of any approved certifying agency to make the required inspections, or the making, by any approved certifying agency, of false or improper certificates shall constitute grounds for cancellation of approval of the agency by the Building Inspector.
(D) In the case of prefabricated construction, the Building Inspector may also inspect the placement of prefabricated assemblies at the building site. The Building Inspector, in his or her discretion, may make a continuous inspection during the assembling of sidewalls and roofs, in which event the contractor or, if there is no contractor, the owner of the property shall pay to the Building Inspector the cost as computed by the Mayor and Council of such inspection.
(2005 Code, § 9-308)
(A) Mobile and sectional homes where permitted outside mobile home parks in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance shall not be required to meet the provisions of the Building Code for design and construction, but shall meet the requirements and approval of the state and the Mobile Home Manufacturers Association.
(B) Bearing foundations shall be of concrete and shall be eight inches wide and 36 inches below finished grade, or on 16-inch diameter piers, extending 36 inches below finished grade with a maximum spacing of nine feet. The outer perimeter of each home shall be enclosed with a concrete, masonry or brick wall placed on an eight-inch wide footing extending 12 inches below grade.
(2005 Code, § 9-309)
All basements in residential dwellings shall have an approved egress window from each bedroom and, if no bedrooms are in the basement, then at least one approved egress window shall be installed in an approved location.
(2005 Code, § 9-310)
9-401 Moving of buildings into and within city
(A) No house, garage, building or other structure shall be moved into the city or moved from one location within the city limits to another location within the city without the affirmative vote of three-fourths of the members of the City Council.
(B) The City Council shall not consider the requests of any party desiring to move any structure into or within the city unless such request is accompanied by the following:
(1) A plot plan showing the structure on the lot or lots on which it will be located;
(2) Recent photographs of the existing structure;
(3) Blueprints and specifications showing all structural changes that are to be made in the building and a detailed list of interior and exterior remodeling changes;
(4) A map showing the streets and avenues to be used in the movement of such structure from its present location to its intended location within the city;
(5) After preliminary approval by the Council, a performance bond in the amount of $5,000 for the performance of such remodeling with the remodeling to be complete within one year from the date of the bond; and
(6) The city reserves the right to determine whether or not the specifications and blueprints have been complied with before the performance bond will be released.
(2005 Code, § 9-401)
(A) Should the moving of a house or building occur or be necessary in the city and it becomes necessary in such work to remove or disturb any property of the city or lines of the electric distribution system thereof, the same shall not be done, except upon reasonable written notice to and written authority from the city so that the Utility Superintendent may arrange accordingly without disturbance of service.
(B) The City Council shall approve the route over which such building or house shall be moved.
(C) Any expense incidental to the moving of the building or lines of the electric distribution of the city shall be borne entirely by the owner of the house or moving contractor. The Utility Superintendent and Municipal Services Director shall view the building or structure to be moved and the route of moving, shall ascertain to what extent the wires and apparatus of the power system shall have to be removed, and all other expenses including, but not limited to, traffic control, sign removal and tree trimming, and shall estimate the expense thereof.
(D) Should the building or device being moved be of such shape and size that moving of the structure would not require the undue hazards to the general public, and has received approval of the City Council, the owner shall deposit with the city an amount of money equal to the estimated expense of the move, and any surplus remaining after all expenses are paid will be returned to the applicant or any expenses exceeding the deposit shall be paid to the city by the owner. The mover or owner shall furnish a certificate of proof of liability insurance in an amount as required by the city, that would hold the city harmless from all claims for damages to property and personal injury that may result from the movement of such device, building or house from place to place.
(E) The mover or owner performing the house, building or device moving work will arrange for the removal, repair and replacement of all other utilities, trees, signs and any other objects that may be disturbed during the performance of work, that are not the responsibility of the electric power utility or the Municipal Services Department.
(F) The Municipal Services Director shall have complete authority and control of the move. The mover and/or owner shall follow all instructions of the Municipal Services Director while the moving equipment is on the public streets and rights-of-way of the city. The owner may be required to sign an agreement with the city stating he or she will abide by the terms of the agreement and city ordinances.
(G) No person shall violate the provisions of this section and shall not undertake such work without the approval of the city.
(2005 Code, § 9-402)
9-503 Determination and notice
9-504 Hearing and appeal
9-505 Special assessments
(A) The term UNSAFE BUILDING, as used in this article, is hereby defined to mean and include any building, shed, fence or other human-made structure:
(1) Which is dangerous to the public health because of its condition, and which may cause or aid in the spread of disease or injury to the health of the occupants of it or neighboring structures;
(2) Which, because of faulty construction, age, lack of proper repair or any other cause, is especially liable to fire and constitutes or creates a fire hazard; and
(3) Which, by reason of faulty construction or any other cause, is liable to cause injury or damage by the collapse or fall of all or any part of such structure.
(B) Any such unsafe building in the municipality is hereby declared to be a nuisance.
(2005 Code, § 9-501)
It shall be unlawful to maintain or permit the existence of any unsafe building in the municipality and it shall be unlawful for the owner, occupant or person in custody of any dangerous building to permit the same to remain in an unsafe condition or to occupy such building or permit it to be occupied while it is in an unsafe condition.
(2005 Code, § 9-502)
(A) Whenever the Building Inspector, the City Engineer, the fire official, the health official or the governing body shall be of the opinion that any building or structure in the municipality is an unsafe building, he, she or it shall file a written statement to this effect with the Municipal Clerk. The Clerk shall thereupon cause the property to be posted accordingly, and shall file a copy of such determination in the office of the county’s Register of Deeds, and shall serve written notice upon the owner thereof and upon the occupant thereof, if any, by certified mail or by personal service. Such notice shall state that the building has been declared to be in an unsafe condition; and that such dangerous condition must be removed or remedied by repairing or altering the building or by demolishing it; and that the condition must have begun to be remedied within 30 days from the date of receipt. Such notice may be in the following terms:
To (owner-occupant of premises) of the premises known and described as .
You are hereby notified that (describe building) on the premises above mentioned has been determined to be an unsafe building and a nuisance after inspection by . The causes for this decision are (here insert the facts as to the dangerous condition) .
You must commence to make changes, repairs or alterations which will remedy this condition or demolish the building within 30 days from the date of receipt of this notice or the Municipality will proceed to do so. Appeal of this determination may be made to the governing body, acting as the Board of Appeals, by filing with the Municipal Clerk within ten days from the date of receipt of this notice a request for a hearing.
(B) If the person receiving the notice has not complied therewith or taken an appeal from the determination of the officer or employee finding that a dangerous building exists within ten days from the time when this notice is served upon such person by personal service or certified mail, the Building Inspector may, upon orders of the governing body, proceed to remedy the condition or demolish the unsafe building.
(2005 Code, § 9-503)
Upon receiving the notice to repair or demolish the building, the owner of the building, within the time stipulated, may in writing to the Municipal Clerk request a hearing before the governing body, sitting as the Board of Appeals, to present reasons why the building should not be repaired or demolished. The governing body shall grant such hearing within ten days from the date of receiving the request. A written notice of the governing body’s decision following the hearing shall be sent to the property owner by certified mail. If the governing body rejects the appeal, the owner shall have five days from the sending of the decision to begin repair or demolition and removal. If, after the five-day period, the owner has not begun work, the governing body shall proceed to cause such work to be done; provided, the property owner may appeal such decision to the appropriate court for adjudication during which proceedings the decision of the governing body shall be stayed.
(2005 Code, § 9-504)
(A) If any owner of any building or structure fails, neglects or refuses to comply with notice by or on behalf of the municipality to repair, rehabilitate or demolish and remove a building or structure which is unsafe and a public nuisance, the municipality may proceed with the work specified in the notice to the property owner. A statement of the cost of such work shall be transmitted to the governing body.
(B) The governing body may:
(1) Levy the cost as a special assessment against the lot or real estate upon which the building or structure is located. Such special assessment shall be a lien on the real estate and shall be collected in the manner provided for special assessments; and
(2) Collect the cost from the owner of the building or structure and enforce the collection by civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction.
(2005 Code, § 9-505)
9-601 Building Code; adopted by reference
9-602 Plumbing Code; adopted by reference
9-603 Electrical Code; adopted by reference
9-604 National Fire Protection Association Code 58; adopted by reference
(A) To provide certain minimum standards, provisions and requirements for usage and stable design methods of construction and uses of materials in buildings hereafter erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, relocated and converted. The 2018 International Residential Code for one and two family dwellings published by the International Code Council, Inc. is hereby adopted and incorporated by reference excluding Appendixes A, B, C, D, E, G, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T and Sections R106.3, Rl06.3.1, R106.3.2, R109.1, R109.1.1, R109.1.2, R109.1.3, R109.1.4, R109.1.5, R126.96.36.199, R109.1.6, R110.1, R110.2, R110.3, R110.4, R110.5, Chapter 3, Section R313 and Chapters 12 through 43.
(B) The 2018 International Residential Code for one and two family dwellings published by the International Code Council, Inc., is hereby adopted incorporated by reference Appendix F only the following sections: AF103.4.4, AF103.6, AF103.6.1, AF103.6.2, AF103.9, and AF103.12 eliminating the last sentence of AF103.12 and all of Appendix J. Table R301.2 (1) shall read as follows: Ground Snow Load (25 lbs. per sq. ft.); Wind Speed (90 mph); Weathering (Severe); Frost Line Depth (36"); Termite (Moderate to Heavy); Ice Shield Underlayment (No); Air Freezing Index (No).
(C) The 2018 International Building Code published by the International Code Council except for all Appendixes and for the provisions of Sections 101.4, 101.4.1, 101.4.2, 101.4.3, 101.4.4, 101.4.6, 101.4.7, 107.3, 107.3.1, 107.3.2, 110.3, 110.3.1,110.3.2, 110.3.3, 110.3.4, 110.3.5, 110.3.6, 110.3.7,110.3.8,110.3.9, 110.3.10, 110.3.11, 111.1, 111.2, 111.3, 111.4, the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code published by the International Code Council; and the Nebraska Accessibility Guidelines are all hereby adopted and incorporated by reference in addition to all amended editions as though printed in full herein insofar as said Codes does not conflict with the statutes of the State of Nebraska. In the event conflict arises between the International Residential Code and/or the International Building Code and/or the Holdrege Municipal Code, the Holdrege Municipal Code and amendments shall govern. Copies of the Codes are on file at the City Offices and are available for public inspection at any reasonable time. The provisions of these Codes shall be controlling throughout the Municipality and throughout its zoning jurisdiction.
(2005 Code, § 9-601) (Ord. 2317, passed 12-1-2009; Ord. 2421, passed 2-5-2019)
To provide certain minimum standards, provisions and requirements for safe and stable installation, methods of connection and uses of materials in the installation of plumbing and heating. The Uniform Plumbing Code, 2018 Edition and Appendixes A, B, C, E, H, I and K, except for provisions of Sections 104.4, 104.5, 104.5.2 and Chapter 12, published by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, (IAPMO), and the printed book or pamphlet form of the Plumbing Code of the City of Holdrege are hereby adopted and incorporated by reference in addition to all amended editions, including such amendments, deletions and additions which the Holdrege City Council may make, as though printed in full herein insofar as said Codes do not conflict with the statutes of the State of Nebraska. In the event conflict arises between the Uniform Plumbing Code and the City of Holdrege Plumbing Code or amendments, the City Code shall govern. Natural gas piping installation shall be permitted, inspected and approved by the franchise gas supplier to the City of Holdrege and subject to their rules and regulations. Copies of the City of Holdrege Plumbing Code and the Uniform Plumbing Code, 2018 Edition, are on file at the City Offices and are available for public inspection at any reasonable time. The provisions of the Codes shall be controlling through the Municipality and throughout its Zoning Jurisdiction. The Building Inspector shall charge and collect fees for issuance of permits. The amount of such fees shall be set by Resolution of the Governing Body and on file in the City Offices.
(2005 Code, § 9-602) (Ord. 2317, passed 12-1-2009; Ord. 2422, passed 2-5-2019)
(A) To provide certain minimum standards, provisions and requirements for safe and fire-proof installation, methods of connection and uses of materials in the installation of electrical wiring and appliances.
(B) The National Electrical Code, latest edition and amendments as adopted by the state and published by the National Fire Protection Association, is hereby adopted and incorporated by reference.
(2005 Code, § 9-603) (Ord. 2317, passed 12-1-2009)
To provide certain minimum standards, provisions and requirements for safe and stable installation methods of connection and uses of materials in the installation of liquefied petroleum gases. The National Fire Protection Association Code 58 is hereby adopted and incorporated by reference.
(Ord. 2333, passed 3-15-2011)
9-701 Registration required
9-702 Registration suspension
9-703 Building construction by owner
9-704 Certificate of insurance
9-705 Reroofing contractors; registration required; registration suspension; construction by owner; certificate of insurance
(A) To guarantee faithful performance and compliance with the Building Code and all other provisions of this code and city ordinances pertaining to construction in the city’s jurisdiction, anyone doing building construction requiring a building permit shall be considered a building contractor and shall be registered with the city.
(B) No person or company shall engage in or work at the business or trade of building construction in the jurisdiction of the city until he or she has registered as a building contractor with the city. Each registration shall be in the name of the person, the contractor or the owner of the company.
(C) Application for registration under the provisions of this code shall be made to the city offices. Such applicant shall include the name, address and phone number of the applicant, the business location of the applicant and proof of insurance. Such application shall be accompanied by a registration fee as set by resolution of the City Council.
(D) Registration shall expire on April 30 during the year following the date of issuance and shall not be assigned.
(2005 Code, § 9-701)
Continued violation of the provisions of the city’s Building Code or Zoning Ordinance may result in the suspension of a building contractor’s registration until such time as the violations shall have been corrected to the satisfaction of the city.
(2005 Code, § 9-702)
(A) All building construction by the owner shall comply with the requirements of the city’s Building Code and Zoning Ordinance and, in such event, the word “owner” shall be substituted for the word “building contractor” through this code; provided that, said owner shall:
(1) Apply for and secure a permit;
(2) File plans and specifications with the city;
(3) Pay required fees;
(4) Do the work in accordance with the city’s Building Code;
(5) Apply for inspections; and
(6) Does not need to be insured or registered.
(B) Personal installation of owner (other than building contractor) shall be by himself or herself, for himself or herself, on property owned by him or her containing residential single-family dwellings and accessory buildings and/or residential single-family or two-family rental dwellings and related accessory building, and not a non-residential commercial building, without compensation or pay from any other person for such labor or installation. The owner exercising this privilege shall not set himself or herself up as a building contractor.
(2005 Code, § 9-703)
(A) Each such building contractor shall furnish to the city a policy or policies of insurance as follows: providing coverage for minimum public liability in the amount as set by resolution of the City Council for combined single limits or its equivalent, with the city named as an additional insured.
(B) Such policy shall provide that a 30-day written notice shall be given to the City Clerk in the event of expiration of or proposed cancellation of such insurance policy.
(2005 Code, § 9-704)
(A) To guarantee faithful performance and compliance with the provisions of city ordinances pertaining to reroofing in the city’s jurisdiction, anyone doing reroofing shall be considered a reroofing contractor and shall be registered with the city. No person or company shall engage in or work at the business or trade of reroofing in the jurisdiction of the city until he or she has registered as a reroofing contractor with the city. Each registration shall be in the name of the person, the contractor or the owner of the company. Application for registration under the provisions of this code shall be made to the city offices. Such applicant shall include the name, address and phone number of the applicant, the business location of the applicant, and proof of insurance. Such application shall be accompanied by a registration fee as set by resolution of the City Council. Registration shall expire on April 30 during the year following the date of issuance and shall not be assigned.
(2005 Code, § 9-705)
(B) Continued violation of the provisions of the city’s Building Code may result in the suspension of a reroofing contractor’s registration until such time as the violations shall have been corrected to the satisfaction of the city.
(2005 Code, § 9-706)
(C) (1) All reroofing by the owner shall comply with the requirements of the city’s Building Code and, in such event, the word “owner” shall be substituted for the word “reroofing contractor” through this code; provided that, said owner shall:
(a) Pay required fees;
(b) Do the work in accordance with the city’s Building Code; and
(c) Does not need to be insured or registered.
(2) Personal installation of owner (other than reroofing contractor) shall be by himself or herself, for himself or herself, in his or her own private building and not a commercial building, without compensation or pay from any other person for such labor or installation. The owner exercising this privilege shall not set himself or herself up as a reroofing contractor.
(2005 Code, § 9-707)
(D) (1) Each such reroofing contractor shall furnish to the city a policy or policies of insurance as follows: providing coverage for minimum public liability in the amount as set by resolution of the City Council for combined single limits or its equivalent, with the city named as an additional insured.
(2) Such policy shall provide that a 30-day written notice shall be given to the City Clerk in the event of expiration of or proposed cancellation of such insurance policy.
(2005 Code, § 9-708)
9-801 Title and scope
9-803 Responsibility of the occupants
9-804 Responsibilities of the owner
9-805 Minimum standards
9-806 Administrative procedures complaint
9-807 Service of reports, notices, complaints or orders
9-808 Failure to comply with order
9-809 Duties of legal officer
9-810 Judicial review
9-811 Emergency action without notice
9-812 Building Inspector; responsibility; powers and duties; appeals
9-813 Personal liability
9-814 Financial interests
9-815 Board of Appeals
(A) This article shall be known as the “Minimum Standards Housing Code”, may be cited as such and is herein referred to as “this code” or “this article”.
(B) This article shall apply to all buildings or portions thereof used, or designed or intended to be used, for human habitation, excluding such institutional buildings as jails, hospitals and public health facilities.
(2005 Code, § 9-802)
For the purpose of this article, the following definitions apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
APARTMENT. Room or suite of rooms occupied or which is intended or designed to be occupied, as the home or residence of one individual, family or household, for housekeeping purposes.
APARTMENT HOUSE. Any building or portion thereof which is designed, built, rented, leased, let or hired out to be occupied or which is occupied as a home or resident of more than two families living independently of each other.
APPROVED. Approval by the Building Inspector under the provisions of this code, or approved by other authority designated by law to give approval in the matter in question.
BASEMENT. A portion of the building partly underground, but having less than one-half its clear height below the average grade of the adjoining ground.
BUILDING. Any building or structure, or portion thereof, which is used, or designed or intended to be used for human habitation, for living, sleeping, cooking or eating purposes or any combination thereof.
BUILDING INSPECTOR. The officer charged with the administration and enforcement of this code or his or her regularly authorized assistant.
CELLAR. The portion of the building partly underground, having one-half or more than one-half of its clear height below the average grade of the adjoining ground used solely for storage purposes.
DWELLING. Any building or mobile home, or part thereof, used and occupied by human habitation or intended to be so used; “temporary housing”, hereinafter defined, shall not be regarded as a DWELLING.
DWELLING UNIT. Any room or group of rooms located within a dwelling and forming a single habitable unit with living, sleeping, cooking and eating facilities.
EXTERMINATION. The control and elimination of insects, rodents or other pests by eliminating their harborage places; by removing or making inaccessible materials that may serve as their food, by poisoning, spraying, fumigating, trapping or by any other recognized and legal pest elimination methods.
FAMILY. A group of persons related by blood, marriage or adoption within and including the degree of first cousins.
GARBAGE. The animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
HABITABLE ROOM. A room or enclosed floor space used, or intended to be used, for living, sleeping, cooking or eating purposes, excluding bathrooms, laundries, pantries, foyers, communicating corridors, closets and storage spaces.
HEALTH OFFICER. Legally designated head of the Department of Health of any city, governmental unit or combination thereof.
HOTEL. See ROOMING HOUSE.
INFESTATION. The presence within or around a dwelling, of any insects, rodents or other pests.
MULTIPLE DWELLING. Any dwelling containing two or more dwelling units.
OCCUPANT. Any person living, sleeping or eating in, or having actual possession of, a dwelling unit or rooming unit.
OWNER. A holder of any legal or equitable title in the premises, whether alone or jointly with others, and whether in possession or not; or any person who shall have charge, care or control of any dwelling, dwelling unit or building as owner or agent of the OWNER or as executor, administrator, trustees or guardian of the estate of the owner.
PERSON. Any individual, firm, corporation, association, partnership or trust.
PLUMBING. All of the following supplies facilities and equipment: gas pipe; gas-burning equipment; water pipes; garbage disposal units; waste pipes; toilets; sinks; dishwashers; lavatories; bathtubs; shower baths; clothes washers; catch basin; drains; vents; and any other similar supplies fixtures, together with all connections to water, sewer or gas lines.
ROOMING HOUSE. Any dwelling, or that part of any dwelling containing one or more rooming units, in which space is let for money or other in-kind services by the owner to five or more persons who are not husband or wife, son or daughter, mother or father or sister or brother of the owner or operator.
ROOMING UNIT. Any room or group of rooms forming a single habitable unit used or intended to be used for living and sleeping, but not for cooking or eating purposes.
RUBBISH. All waste materials, except garbage, and the term shall include the residue from the burning of wood, coal and other combustible material, paper, rags, cartons, boxes, excelsior, rubber, leather, tree branches, yard trimmings, tin cans, metal, mineral matter, glass, crockery and dust.
SUPPLIED. Paid for, furnished or provided by or under the control of the owner.
TEMPORARY HOUSING. Any tent, trailer or other structure used for human shelter which is designed to be transportable and which is not attached to the ground, to another structure or to any utilities system on the same premises for more than 30 consecutive days.
(2005 Code, § 9-802)
(A) The following are the occupant’s responsibility:
(1) To keep the dwelling, dwelling unit and premises he or she controls and occupies in a clean and sanitary condition;
(2) To dispose of rubbish and garbage in a clean and sanitary manner as prescribed by city regulations;
(3) To hang and remove screens and storm doors and windows provided by the owner, except where the owner has agreed to supply such services;
(4) To keep plumbing fixtures therein in a clean and sanitary condition and to exercise reasonable care in the proper use and operation thereof; and
(5) To exterminate in the following cases:
(a) The occupant of a single dwelling is responsible for extermination of any insects, rodents or other pests therein or on the premises; and
(b) The occupant of a single dwelling unit in a multiple unit structure is responsible for extermination of any insects, rodents or other pests if his or her unit is the only unit infested.
(B) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, whenever infestation is caused by the failure of the owner to maintain the dwelling in a rodent-proof or reasonably insect-proof condition, the occupant is not responsible for extermination of any insects, rodents or other pests therein.
(C) No occupant shall willfully destroy, deface or impair any of the facilities, equipment or any part of the structure of a dwelling unit, dwelling, multi-dwelling or apartment.
(D) (1) It shall be unlawful for the owner or occupant of a dwelling to utilize the premises of such dwelling for the open storage of any abandoned motor vehicle, obsolete appliances, glass and building material, building rubbish or similar items.
(2) It shall be the duty and responsibility of every such owner or occupant to keep the premises of such residential property clean and to remove from the premises all such abandoned items, as listed above, including, but not limited to, weeds, litter, dead trees, trash or garbage upon notice from the Building Inspector.
(E) For the purpose of this section, an ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE is defined as one that is in a state of disrepair and incapable of being moved under its own power.
(2005 Code, § 9-802)
The following are the owner’s responsibilities:
(A) Where there are two or more dwelling units, to maintain in a clean and sanitary condition, the shared or public areas of the dwelling and premises thereof;
(B) To have dwelling in clean, sanitary, habitable condition, free from infestation before renting or leasing; to paint walls and ceilings and to clean, repair and exterminate if needed to meet forecasted requirements before offering for rent or lease;
(C) To provide every door opening directly from a dwelling unit to outdoor space with screens and a self-closing device; and every window or other device openings to outdoor space, used or intended to be used for ventilation with screens;
(D) To exterminate in the following cases of infestation:
(1) When infestation exists in two or more units of a multiple-unit structure;
(2) When infestation exists in shared or public areas of a multiple-unit structure; and/or
(3) When infestation exists in a single-unit of a multiple-unit structure or in a single-unit structure when infestation is due to failure of the owner to maintain the dwelling in a rodent-proof and reasonably insect-proof condition.
(E) To perform the responsibilities of the occupant when premises are vacant; and
(F) To furnish appropriate outside garbage receptacles and make agreement with tenant for removal of garbage.
(2005 Code, § 9-802)
(A) Living room.
(1) Living room “present”. If the unit is an efficiency apartment, consider the living room “present”.
(a) In order to qualify, two separate outlets must be present and properly installed in the baseboard, wall or floor of the room. Do not count a single duplex receptacle as two outlets (i.e., there must be two of these in the room or one of these, plus a permanently installed ceiling or wall light fixture).
(b) Both the outlets and/or the light must be working. Usually, a room will have sufficient lights or electrical appliances plugged into outlets to determine workability. Be sure light fixture does not fail just because the bulb is burned out.
(c) Do not count any of the following items or fixtures as outlets/fixtures: table or floor lamps (these are not permanent light fixtures); ceiling lamps plugged into socket; extension cords.
(d) If the electric service to the unit has been temporarily turned off check “inconclusive”. Contact owner or manager after inspection to verify that electricity functions properly when service is turned on. Record this information on the checklist.
(3) Electrical hazards.
(a) Examples of what this means: broken wiring; non-insulated wiring; frayed wiring; improper types of wiring, connections or insulation; wires lying in or located near standing water or other unsafe places; light fixture hanging from electric wiring without other firm support or fixture; missing cover plates on switches or outlets; badly cracked outlets; exposed fuse box connections; overloaded circuits evidenced by frequently “blown” fuses (ask the tenant).
(b) Check “inconclusive” if uncertain about severity of the problem and seek expert advice.
(a) ACCESSIBLE TO OUTSIDE means doors open to the outside or to a common public hall; windows accessible from the outside (e.g., basement and first floor); windows or doors leading onto a fire escape, porch or other outside place that can be reached from the ground.
(b) LOCKABLE means the window or door has a properly working lock, or is nailed shut, or the window is not designed to be opened. A storm window lock that is working properly is acceptable. Windows that are nailed shut are acceptable only if these windows are not needed for ventilation or as an alternate exit in case of fire.
(5) Window condition.
(a) Rate the windows in the room (including windows in doors).
(b) SEVERE DETERIORATION means that the window no longer has the capacity to keep out the wind and the rain or is a cutting hazard. Examples are: missing or broken-out panes; dangerously loose cracked panes; windows that will not close; windows that, when closed, do not form a reasonably tight seal.
(c) If more than one window in the room is in this condition, give details in the space provided on the right of the inspection form.
(d) If there is only “moderate deterioration” of the windows the item should “pass”. MODERATE DETERIORATION means windows which are reasonably weather-tight, but show evidence of some aging, abuse or lack of repair. Signs of deterioration are: minor crack in window pane; splintered sill; signs of some minor rotting in the window frame or the window itself; window panes loose because of missing window putty. If more than one window is in this condition, give details in the space provided on the right of the inspection form.
(6) Ceiling condition.
(a) UNSOUND or HAZARDOUS means the presence of such serious defects that either a potential exists for structural collapse, or that large cracks or holes allow significant drafts to enter the unit. The condition includes: severe bulging or buckling; large holes; missing parts; falling or in danger of falling, loose surface materials.
(b) Pass ceilings that are basically sound, but have some non-hazardous defects, including: small holes or cracks; missing or broken ceiling tiles; water stains; soiled surfaces; unpainted surfaces; peeling paint.
(7) Wall condition.
(a) UNSOUND or HAZARDOUS includes: serious defects such that the structural safety of the building is threatened, such as severe buckling, bulging or leaning; damaged or loose structural members; large holes; air infiltration.
(b) Pass walls that are basically sound that have some non-hazardous defects, including: small or shallow holes; cracks; loose or missing parts; unpainted surfaces; peeling paint.
(8) Floor condition.
(a) UNSOUND or HAZARDOUS means the presence of such serious defects that a potential exists for structural collapse or other threats to safety (e.g., tripping) or large cracks or holes allow substantial drafts from below the floor. The condition includes: severe buckling or major movements under walking stress; damaged or missing parts.
(b) Pass floors that are basically sound, but have some non-hazardous defects, including: heavily worn or damaged floor surface (for example, scratches or gouges in surface, missing portions of tile or linoleum, previous water damage). If there is a floor covering, also note the condition, especially if badly worn or soiled.
(1) Kitchen area present. A kitchen is an area used for preparation of meals. It may be either a separate room or an area of a larger room (e.g., a kitchen area in an efficiency apartment).
(2) Explanation. Explanation for these items is the same as that provided for “living room” with the following modifications.
(a) Electricity. The requirement is that at least one outlet and one permanent light fixture are present and working. All counter top outlets and outlets within four feet of water must have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFI). Receptacle outlets shall not be installed in a face-up position in the work surface of counter tops.
(b) Window condition. The absence of a window does not fail this item in the kitchen. If there is no window, check “pass”.
(c) Stove or range with oven.
1. Both an oven and a stove or range with top burners must be present and working. If either is missing and one knows that the owner is responsible for supplying these appliances, check “fail”. Put check in “inconclusive” column if the tenant is responsible for supplying the appliances and he or she has not yet moved in. Contact tenant or prospective tenant to gain verification that appliance will be supplied and is in working condition. Hot plates are not acceptable substitutes for these appliances.
2. An oven is not working if it will not heat up. To be working a stove or range must have all burners working and knobs to turn them off and on. A gas shut-off valve shall be installed on an approved line within three feet of the appliance. Under “working condition”, also look for hazardous gas hook-ups evidenced by strong gas smells; these should fail. (Be sure that this condition is not confused with an unlit pilot light, a condition that should be noted, but does not fail.)
3. If both an oven and a stove or range is present, but the gas or electricity is turned off, check “inconclusive”. Contact owner or manager to get verification that appliance works when gas or electricity is turned on. If both an oven and a stove or range is present and working, but defects exist, check “pass” and note these to the right of the form. Possible defects are marked, dented or scratched surfaces; cracked burner rings; limited size relative to family needs.
4. A microwave oven may be substituted for a tenant-supplied oven and stove or range.
5. A microwave oven may be substituted for an owner supplied oven and stove or range if the tenant agrees and a microwave oven is furnished instead of oven and stove or range.
1. If no refrigerator is present, use the same criteria for marking either “fail” or “inconclusive” as were used for the oven and stove or range. A refrigerator is not working if it will not maintain a temperature low enough to keep food from spoiling over a reasonable period of time. If the electricity is turned off, mark “inconclusive”. Contact the owner (or tenant if unit is occupied) to get verification of working condition.
2. If the refrigerator is present and working, but defects exist, note these to the right of the form. Possible minor defects include: broken or missing interior shelving; dented or scratched interior or exterior surfaces; minor deterioration of door seal; loose door handle.
1. If a permanently attached kitchen sink is not present in the kitchen or kitchen area, mark “fail”. A sink in a bathroom or a portable basin will not satisfy this requirement. A sink is not working unless it has running hot and cold water from the faucets and a properly connected and properly working drain (with a “gas trap”). In a vacant apartment, the hot water may have been turned off and there will be no hot water. Mark this “inconclusive”. Check with owner or manager to verify that hot water is available when service is turned on.
2. If a working sink has defects, note this to the right of the item. Possible minor defects include: dripping faucet; marked, dented or scratched surface; slow drain; missing or broken drain stopper.
(f) Space for storage, preparation and serving of food.
1. Some space must be available for the storage, preparation and serving of food. If there is not built-in space for food storage and preparation, a table used for food preparation and a portable storage cabinet will satisfy the requirement. If there is no built-in space, and no room for a table and portable cabinet, check “inconclusive” and discuss with the tenant. The tenant makes the final determination as to whether or not this space is acceptable.
2. If there are some minor defects, check “pass” and make notes to the right of the item. Possible defects include: marked, dented or scratched surfaces; broken shelving or cabinet doors; broken drawers or cabinet hardware; limited size relative to family needs.
(1) Bathroom present. Most units have easily identifiable bathrooms (i.e., a separate room with toilet, wash basin and tub or shower). In some cases, however, one will encounter units with scattered bathroom facilities (i.e., toilet, wash basin and tub or shower located in separate parts of the unit). At a minimum, there must be an enclosure around the toilet. In this case, count the enclosure around the toilet as the bathroom and proceed with the items below, with respect to this enclosure. If there is more than one bathroom that is normally used, rate the one that is in best condition for Part 3. If there is a second bathroom that is also used, complete Part 4 of the checklist for this room. (See Inspection Manual for additional notes on rating the second bathroom.)
(2) Explanation. Explanation for these items is the same as provided for “Living Room” with the following modifications.
(a) Electricity. The requirement is that at least one permanent light fixture is present and working. All outlets must have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFI). There should be at least one outlet no further than three feet from the sink.
(b) Electrical hazards. In addition to the previously mentioned hazards, outlets that are located where water might splash or collect are considered an electrical hazard.
(c) Window condition. The absence of a window does not fail this item in the bathroom (see subsection (C)(2)(i) below for relevance of window with respect to ventilation). If there is no window, but a working vent system is present, check “pass”.
(d) Wall condition. Include under non-hazardous defects (that would pass, but should be noted) the following: broken or loose tile; deteriorated grouting at tub/wall and tub/floor joints or tiled surfaces; water stains.
(e) Floor condition. Include under non-hazardous defects (that would pass, but should be noted) the following: missing floor tiles; water stains.
(f) Flush toilet in enclosed room in unit.
1. The toilet must be contained within the unit, be in proper operating condition and be available for the exclusive use of the occupants of the unit (i.e., outhouses or facilities shared by occupants of other units are not acceptable). It must allow for privacy.
2. NOT WORKING means the toilet is not connected to a water supply; it is not connected to a sewer drain; it is clogged; it does not have a trap; the connections, vents or traps are faulty to the extent that severe leakage of water or escape of gases occurs; the flushing mechanism does not function properly. If the water to the unit has been turned off, check “inconclusive”. Obtain verification from owner or manager that facility works properly when water is turned on. Comment to the right of the form if the toilet is “present, exclusive and working”, but has the following types of defects: constant running; chipped or broken porcelain; slow draining. If drain blockage is more serious and occurs further in the sewer line causing backup, check item G.8 “fail”, under the plumbing and heating part of the checklist. A sign of serious sewer blockage is the presence of numerous backed-up drains.
(g) Fixed wash basin or lavatory in unit.
1. The wash basin must be permanently installed (i.e., a portable wash basin does not satisfy the requirement). Also, a kitchen sink used to pass the requirements under Part B of the checklist (kitchen facilities) cannot also serve as the bathroom wash basin. The wash basin may be located separate from the other bathroom facilities (e.g., in a hallway).
2. NOT WORKING means the wash basin is not connected to a system that will deliver hot and cold running water; it is not connected to a properly operating drain; the connectors (or vents or traps) are faulty to the extent that severe leakage of water or escape of sewer gases occurs. If the water to the unit or the hot water unit has been turned off, check “inconclusive”. Obtain verification from owner or manager that the system is in working condition.
3. Comment to the right of the form if the wash basin is “present and working”, but has the following types of minor defects: insufficient water pressure; dripping faucets; minor leaks; cracked or chipped porcelain; slow drain. (See subsection (C)(2)(g)1. above.)
(h) Tub or shower in unit.
1. Not present means that neither a tub nor shower is present in the unit. Again, these facilities need not be in the same room with the rest of the bathroom facilities. They must, however, be private.
2. Not working covers the same requirements detailed above for washbasin.
3. Comment to the right of the form if the tub or shower is present and working, but has the following types of defects: dripping faucet; minor leaks; cracked porcelain; slow drain (see discussion hereunder); absent or broken support rod for shower curtain.
(i) Ventilation. Working vent systems include: ventilation shafts (non-mechanical vents) and electric fans. Electric vent fans must function when switch is turned on. (Make sure than any malfunctions are not due to the fan not being plugged in.) If electric current to the unit has not been turned on (and there is no window that opens), check “inconclusive”. Obtain verification from owner or manager that system works. Note: exhaust vents must be vented to the outside, attic or crawl space.
(D) Other room used for living and halls.
(1) Other rooms.
(a) Complete an “other room” checklist for as many “other rooms used for living” as are present in the unit and not already noted in Parts A, B and C of the checklist. See the discussion below for definition of “used for living”. Also complete an “other room” checklist for all entrance halls, corridors and staircases that are located within the unit and are part of the area used for living. If a hall, entry and/or stairway are contiguous, rate them as a whole (i.e., as part of one space).
(b) Additional forms for rating “other rooms” are provided in the checklist.
(c) Rooms USED FOR LIVING are areas of the unit that are walked through or lived in on a regular basis. Do not include rooms or other areas that have been permanently, or near permanently, closed off or areas that are infrequently entered. For example, do not include a utility room, attached shed, attached closed-in porch, basement or garage if they are closed off from the main living area or are infrequently entered. Do include any of these areas if they are frequently used (e.g., a finished basement/playroom, a closed-in porch that is used as a bedroom during summer months). Occasional use of a washer or dryer in an otherwise unused room does not constitute regular use.
(d) If the unit is vacant and you do not know the eventual use of a particular room, complete an “other room” checklist if there is any chance that the room will be used on a regular basis. If there is no chance that the room will be used on a regular basis, do not include it (e.g., an unfinished basement), since it will be checked under Part E, all secondary rooms (rooms not used for living).
(e) For staircases, the adequacy of light and condition of the stair rails and railings is covered under Part H of the checklist (general health and safety).
(2) Room code and room location.
(a) Enter the appropriate room code given below:
Bedroom or any other room used for sleeping (regardless of type of room)
Dining room or dining area
Second living room, family room, den, playroom, TV room
Entrance halls, corridors, halls, staircases
Additional bathroom (also check presence of sink trap and clogged toilet)
(b) Room location: write on the line provided the location of the room with respect to the unit’s width, length and floor level as if you were standing outside the unit facing the entrance to the unit. Right/left/center: record whether the room is situated to the right, left of center of the unit. Front/rear/center: record whether the room is situated to the back, front or center of the unit. Floor level: identify the floor level on which the room is located. If the unit is vacant, you may have some difficulty predicting the eventual use of a room. Before giving any room a code of “1” (bedroom), the room must meet all the requirements for a “room used for sleeping”.
(3) Explanations. Explanations of these items are the same as those provided for “living room” with the following modifications:
(a) Electricity/illumination. If the room code is not a “1”, the room must have a means of natural or artificial illumination such as a permanent light fixture, wall outlet present or light from a window in the room or near the room. If there is a wet bar present, outlets within six feet of the wet bar must have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFI). If any required item is missing, check “fail”. If the electricity is turned off, check “inconclusive”.
(b) Window condition. Any room used for sleeping must have at least one window able to open. The minimum standards do not require a window in “other rooms”. Therefore, if there is no window in another room not used for sleeping, check “pass” and note “no window” in the area for comments. Below grade windows used for sleeping must have egress windows.
(c) Smoke detectors.
1. At least one battery-operated or hard-wired smoke detector must be present and working in each sleeping room and on each level of the unit, including the basement, but not crawl spaces and unfinished attic.
2. Smoke detectors must be installed in accordance with and meet the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association Standard (NFPA) 74.
3. If the dwelling unit is occupied by any hearing-impaired person, smoke detectors must have an alarm system designed for hearing-impaired persons as specified in NFPA 74.
(E) All secondary rooms (rooms not used for living).
(1) If any room in the unit did not meet the requirements for “other room used for living” in Part D, it is to be considered a “secondary room (not used for living).” Rate all of these rooms together (i.e., a single Part E checklist for all secondary rooms in the unit).
(2) Inspection is required of the following two items since hazardous defects under these items could jeopardize the rest of the unit, even if present in rooms not used for living: E.2, Security; E.3, Electrical Hazards. Also, be observant of any other potentially hazardous features in these rooms and record under subsection (E)(4) below.
(3) If there are no “secondary rooms (rooms not used for living)”, check “none” and go on to Part F.
(4) Explanations of these items is the same as those provided for “living room”. Additional note: in recording “other potentially hazardous features”, note (in the space provided) the means of access to the room with the hazard and check the box under “inconclusive”. Include defects like: large holes in floor, walls or ceilings; evidence of structural collapse; windows in condition of severe deterioration; and deteriorated paint surfaces.
(F) Building exterior.
(1) Condition of foundation.UNSOUND or HAZARDOUS means foundations with severe structural defects, indicating the potential for structural collapse; or foundations that allow significant entry of ground water (for example, evidenced by flooding of basement).
(2) Condition of stairs, rails and porches.UNSOUND or HAZARDOUS means: stairs, porches, balconies or decks with severe structural defects; broken, rotting or missing steps; absence of a handrail when there are extended lengths of steps (generally two or more consecutive steps); absence of or insecure railings around a porch or balcony which is approximately 30 inches or more above the ground.
(3) Condition of roof and gutters.UNSOUND or HAZARDOUS means the roof has serious defects such as serious buckling or sagging, indicating the potential of structural collapse; large holes or other defects that would result in significant air or water infiltration (in most cases, severe exterior defects will be reflected in equally serious surface defects within the unit) (e.g., buckling, water damage). The gutters, downspouts and soffits (area under the eaves) show serious decay and have allowed the entry of significant air or water into the interior of the structure. Gutters and downspouts are, however, not required to pass. If the roof is not observable and there is no sign of interior water damage, check “pass”.
(4) Condition of exterior surfaces. See definition of above for roof in subsection (F)(3) above.
(5) Condition of chimney. The chimney should not be seriously leaning or showing evidence of significant disintegration (i.e., many missing bricks). If the chimney is in use, it should have a liner with a weather cap.
(6) Manufactured homes: tie downs. Manufactured homes must be placed on a site in a stable manner and be free from hazards such as sliding and wind damage. Manufactured homes must be securely anchored by a tied down device which distributes and transfers the loads imposed by the unit to appropriate ground anchors so as to resist wind overturning and sliding.
(7) Storm doors and screens. Storm doors and screen in good repair will be required if the structure in the past shows evidence of them or if they are currently on the unit, but in poor condition, or if the unit structurally will allow them and be beneficial to the unit for ventilation and/or energy conservation. Screen and storm doors may not be required on some units that are structurally not designed for the installation of these (example: front doors with a bricked frame). Any operable window must have a screen in good condition.
(G) Heating and plumbing.
(1) Adequacy of heating equipment.
(a) ADEQUATE HEAT means that the heating system is capable of delivering enough heat to assure a healthy environment in the unit, will heat to a temperature of 70°F at a distance of three feet above floor level, when the temperature outside is -10°F. Portable electric room heaters or kitchen stoves or ranges within a built-in heat unit are not acceptable as a primary source of heat.
(b) DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY TO ALL ROOMS USED FOR LIVING means:
1. DIRECTLY means that each room used for living has a heat source (e.g., working radiator; working hot air register; baseboard heat); and
2. INDIRECTLY means that, if there is not a heat source present in the room, heat can enter the room easily from a heated adjacent room (e.g., a dining room may not have a radiator, but would receive heat from the heated living room through a large open archway).
(c) If the heating system in the unit works, but there is some question whether a room without a heat source would receive adequate indirect heat, check “inconclusive” and verify adequacy from tenant or owner (e.g., unheated bedroom at the end of a long hallway).
(d) How to determine the capability of the heating system: if the unit is occupied, usually the quickest way to determine the capability of the heating system over time is to question the tenant. If the unit is not occupied, or the tenant has not lived in the unit during the months when heat would be needed, check “inconclusive”. It will be necessary to question the owner on this point after the inspection has been completed and, if possible, to question other tenants (if it is a multi-unit structure) about the adequacy of heat provided. Under some circumstances, the adequacy of heat can be determined by a simple comparison of the size of the heating system to the area to be heated. For example, a small permanently installed space heater in a living room is probably inadequate for heating anything larger than a relatively small apartment.
(2) Safety of heating equipment.
(a) Examples of “invented fuel burning space heaters” are: portable kerosene units; unvented open flame portable units.
(b) “Other unsafe conditions” include: breakage or damage to heating system such that there is a potential for fire or other threats to safety; improper connection of flues allowing exhaust gases to enter the living area; improper installation of equipment (e.g., absence of safety devices); indications of improper use of equipment (e.g., evidence of heavy build-up of soot, creosote or other substance in the chimney); disintegrating equipment; combustible materials near heat source or flue.
(c) If you are unable to gain access to the primary heating system in the unit check “inconclusive”. Contact the owner or manager for verification of safety of the system. If the system has passed a recent local inspection, check “pass”. This applies especially to units in which heat is provided by a large scale, complex central heating system that serves multiple units (e.g., a boiler in the basement of a large apartment building). In most cases, a large scale heating system for a multi-unit building will be subject to periodic safety inspections by a local public agency. Check with the owner or manager to determine the date and outcome of the last such inspection or look for an inspection certificate posted on the heating system.
(3) Safety of heating source. Acceptable heating sources are city supplied electric or natural gas connections. Gas shut off valves from approved lines must be installed three feet from the heating source.
(4) Ventilation and adequacy of cooling.
(a) If the tenant is present and has occupied the unit during the summer months, inquire about the adequacy of air flow. If the tenant is not present or has not occupied the unit during the summer months, test a sample of windows to see that they open. (See Inspection Manual for instruction.)
(b) WORKING COOLING EQUIPMENT includes central (fan) ventilation system; evaporative cooling system; room or central air conditioning. Check “inconclusive” if there are no windows that open and it is impossible, or inappropriate, to test whether a cooling system works. Check with other tenants in the building (in a multi-unit structure) and with the owner or manager for verification of the adequacy of ventilation and cooling.
(5) Water heater.
(a) LOCATION PRESENTS HAZARD means that the gas or electric water heater is located in living areas or closets where safety hazards may exist (e.g., water heater located in a very cluttered closet with cloth and paper items stacked against it). Gas water heaters in bedrooms or other living areas must have safety dividers or shields.
(b) Water heaters must have a temperature-pressure relief valve and discharge line (directed toward the floor or outside of the living area) as a safeguard against build up of steam if the water heater malfunctions. If not, they are not properly equipped and shall fail.
(c) To pass, gas or oil fired water heaters must be vented into a properly installed chimney or flue leading outside. Electric water heaters do not require venting.
(d) If it is impossible to view the water heater, check “inconclusive”. Obtain verification of safety of system from owner or manager. Check “pass” if the water heater has passed a local inspection. This applies primarily to hot water that is supplied by a large scale complex water heating system that serves multiple units (e.g., water heating system in a large apartment building). Check in the same manner described for heating system safety subsection (G)(2) above.
(6) Water supply. The structure must be properly connected to the city water supply.
(a) MAJOR LEAKS means that the main water drain and feed pipes (often located in the basement) are seriously leaking. (Leaks present at specific facilities have already been evaluated under the checklist items for “bathroom” and “kitchen”.)
(b) Corrosion (causing serious and persistent levels of rust or contamination in the drinking water) can be determined by observing the color of the drinking water at several taps. Badly corroded pipes will produce noticeably brownish water. If the tenant is currently occupying the unit, he or she should be able to provide information about the persistence of this condition. (Make sure that the “rusty water” is not a temporary condition caused by city of town maintenance of main water lines.) See general note under subsection (G)(5) above.
(8) Sewer connection.
(a) The structure must be properly connected to the city sewer system.
(b) The following conditions constitute “evidence of sewer back up”: strong sewer gas smell in the basement or outside of unit; numerous clogged or very slow drains; marshy areas outside of unit above septic field. See general note under subsection (G)(5) above.
(9) Carbon monoxide detector.
(a) Carbon monoxide detectors should be hard wired (with a battery back up) in sleeping rooms in the area from the floor to three feet above the floor. A detector should also be placed within three feet of the gas furnace and/or appliance.
(b) If the dwelling is occupied by any hearing-impaired person, the detectors must have an alarm system designed for hearing-impaired persons.
(10) Electric hook-up. The structure must have a proper electric hook-up with the city electric lines. Both the hook-up and the fuse box or service box circuit panel must be free from hazards. (See subsection (A)(3) above.)
(H) General health and safety.
(1) Access to unit.THROUGH ANOTHER UNIT means that access to the unit is only possible by means of passage through another dwelling unit.
(2) Exits.ACCEPTABLE FIRE EXIT means that the building must have an alternative unobstructed means of exit leading to safe and open space at ground level. In case of fire, this could include: an operable window if the unit is on the first floor or second floor or easily accessible to the ground; a back door opening on to a porch, with a stairway leading to the ground; fire escape, fire ladder or fire stairs. If second story, have fire ladders, escapes or stairs at both ends of the unit. BLOCKED means that the exit is not useable due to conditions such as debris, storage, door or window nailed shut, broken lock.
(3) Evidence of infestation. Presence of rats, or severe infestation by mice or vermin, (such as roaches) is evidenced by: rat holes; droppings; rat runs; numerous settings of rat poison. If the unit is occupied, ask the tenant.
(4) Garbage and debris.HEAVY ACCUMULATION means large piles of trash and garbage, discarded furniture and other debris (not temporarily stored awaiting removal) that might harbor rodents. This may occur inside the unit, in common areas or outside. It usually means a level of accumulation beyond the capacity of an individual to pick up within an hour or two.
(5) Refuse disposal.
(a) ADEQUATE COVERED FACILITIES includes: trash cans with covers, garbage chutes, “dumpsters” (i.e., large scale refuse boxes with lids); trash bags (if approvable by local public agency). APPROVABLE BY LOCAL PUBLIC AGENCY means that the local Health and Sanitation Department (city, town or county) approves the type of facility in use.
(b) If the unit is vacant and there are no adequate covered facilities present, check “inconclusive”. Contact the owner or manager for verification of facilities provided when the unit is occupied.
(6) Stairs and common halls. Loose, broken or missing steps should fail if they present a serious risk of tripping or falling. A handrail is required on extended sections of stairs (generally four or more consecutive steps). The railing should be 34 to 38 inches above the nosing of the stair tread. A railing is required on unprotected heights such as around stairwells in excess of 30 inches. All interior and exterior stairways must have artificial lighting. Each landing (six to eight steps) should have working light switches.
(7) Other interior hazards.
(a) “Other hazards” would be conditions such as bare electrical wires, tripping hazards and visible molds.
(b) Examples of other hazards might be: a broken bathroom fixture with a sharp edge in a location where it represents a hazard; a protruding nail in a doorway.
(8) Elevators. Note: At the time of inspection, the inspector will check the inspection date. If there is no elevator, check “not applicable”.
(9) Interior air quality. If the inspector has any questions about whether an existing poor air quality condition should be considered dangerous, he or she should check with the local Health and Safety Department (city, town or country).
(10) Site and neighborhood conditions. Examples of conditions that would “seriously and continuously endanger the health and safety of the residents” are: other buildings on, or near the property that pose serious hazards (e.g., dilapidated shed or garage with potential for structural collapse), evidence of flooding or major drainage problems, evidence of mud slides or large land settlement or collapse, proximity to open sewage, unprotected heights (cliffs, quarries, mines, sandpits), fire hazards, abnormal air pollution or smoke which continues throughout the year and is determined to seriously endanger health and continuous or excessive vibration of vehicular traffic (if the unit is occupied, ask the tenant).
(I) Space, use and location.
(1) Floor space. Every dwelling unit shall contain at least 150 square feet of floor space for the first occupant thereof, and at least 100 additional square feet of floor space for every additional occupant thereof, the floor space to be calculated on the basis of total habitable room area.
(2) Ceiling space. At least one half of the floor area of every habitable room shall have a ceiling height of at least seven feet; and the floor area of that part of any room where the ceiling height is less than five feet, shall not be considered as part of the floor area in computing the total area of the room for the purpose of determining the maximum permissible occupancy thereof.
(3) Window area.
(a) Every habitable room shall have at least one window or skylight facing directly to the outdoors. The minimum total window area, measured between stops, for every habitable room, shall be 10% of the floor area of such room.
(b) Whenever walls or other portions of a structure face a window of any room and such obstructions are located less than three feet from the window and extend to a level above that of the ceiling of the room, such a window shall not be deemed to face directly to the outdoors and shall not be included as contributing to the required minimum total window area. Whenever the only window in a room is a skylight-type window in the top of such room, the total window area of such skylight shall equal at least 15% of the total floor area of such room.
(4) Cellar. No cellar space shall be used or considered as a habitable room or dwelling unit.
(5) Habitable basement. No basement shall be used as a habitable room or dwelling unit unless: the floor and walls are impervious to leakage of underground and surface runoff water and are insulated against dampness; the total of window area in each is equal to at least the minimum window area sizes as required in subsection (I)(3) above; such required minimum window area is located entirely above the grade of the ground adjoining such window area: and the total of the operable window are in each room is equal to at least the minimum, as required under subsection (I)(3) above, except where there is some other device affording adequate ventilation and approved by the Building Inspector; there are adequate exits as required by state and city laws and regulations.
(2005 Code, § 9-803)
(A) A property owner, occupant of any premises or individual may file a complaint with the city upon the proper forms as provided.
(B) After receiving such complaint:
(1) The Building Inspector may issue and cause to be served a complaint charging that a dwelling is unfit or that any building is unsafe; if his or her inspection discloses a basis for so charging, the complaint shall state: that a hearing will be held before the Building Inspector (or his designated agent) at a place therein fixed not less than ten days, nor more than 30 days, after the serving of the complaint; that the owner and parties in interest may file an answer to the complaint and to appear in person and give testimony at the place and time fixed in the complaint; and show cause why an order should not be issued against the owner or building citing violations of this Rental Housing Standard Code and further orders consistent with Rental Housing Standard Code practices be issued to rectify the violations noted in the complaint: and that the rules of evidence prevailing in the courts of law or equity shall not be controlling in hearings before the Building Inspector; and
(2) If after such notice and hearing, the Building Inspector determines that the dwelling or dwelling unit under consideration is unfit for human habitation or the building is dangerous, he or she shall state in writing, his or her findings of fact in support of such determination, and shall issue and cause to be served upon the owner thereof an order to the intent and within the time specified in the order, to repair, alter or improve the said dwelling or other building to render it fit and safe; or, if the repair, alteration or improvement can be made at a cost that is not more than 50% of the value of the building, at the option of the owner, to vacate and close the building; or, if the repair cannot be made at a cost that is not more than 50% of the value of the building, within the time specified in the order, to remove or demolish the said dwelling or other building.
(2005 Code, § 9-804)
Reports, complaints or notices issued by the Building Inspector pursuant hereto shall be served upon persons either personally, or by registered mail to the last known address of the person or persons. If the whereabouts of any person is unknown and the same cannot be ascertained by the Building Inspector in the exercise of reasonable diligence, and the Building Inspector or order upon such person may be made by publishing the same once a week for two successive weeks in the official newspaper of the city, service being deemed complete upon the date of the last publication. A copy of such complaint or order shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises affected by the complaint or order and shall be recorded in the office of the Clerk of the District Court of the county wherein the dwelling or building is located.
(2005 Code, § 9-804)
(A) If the owner of a dwelling or other building fails to comply with the order of the Building Inspector to repair, alter or improve, and/or vacate, close, remove or demolish the dwelling, dwelling unit or building, the Building Inspector may cause such dwelling, dwelling unit or building to be repaired, altered or improved, and/or to be vacated, closed, removed or demolished. The Building Inspector may cause to be posted on the main entrance, a placard with the following words:
This building is unfit for human habitation or other use; the use or occupation of this building for human or other use after is unlawful and is prohibited.
(B) No person shall deface or remove the placard or other notice required hereunder from any dwelling, dwelling unit or building. The Building Inspector shall cause the placard to be removed whenever the defects upon which the action for the placard was based have been corrected or removed.
(C) The amount of the cost of such repairs, alteration or improvements, or vacating and closing, or removal or demolition by the Building Inspector, including the cost of advertising and publishing of notices, shall be the personal debt and liability of the owner or owners, and shall be a lien against the real property upon which such cost was incurred. Said cost shall be placed upon the city’s tax books against the said property and may be collected, and the said liens may be foreclosed, in the same manner as taxes and tax liens are collected and foreclosed, or by other civil suit or process as the City Attorney may determine. If the dwelling, dwelling unit or building is removed or demolished by the Building Inspector, he or she shall, if possible, sell the materials of such dwelling, dwelling unit or building and shall credit the proceeds of such sale against the cost of removal or demolition, and any balance remaining shall be deposited in the District Court by the Building Inspector, shall be secured in such manner as may be directed by such court, and shall be disbursed by such court to the persons found to be entitled thereto by final order or decree of such courts.
(D) Failure on the part of any owner or party in interest to receive or have served upon him or her any complaint, notice or order herein provided for, shall not affect or invalidate the proceedings with respect to any other owner or party in interest or any other person, firm or corporation.
(2005 Code, § 9-804)
The City Attorney (and prosecuting attorney) shall, upon complaint of the Building Inspector, or upon his or her own motion, institute appropriate action to restrain, prevent, enjoin, abate, correct or remove such violation, and to take such other legal action as is necessary to carry out the terms and provisions of this article. The remedies provided for herein shall be cumulative and not exclusive, and shall be in addition to any other remedies provided by law; any and all remedies may be pursued concurrently or consecutively, and the pursuit of any remedy shall not be construed as the waiver or the right to pursue any or all of the others.
(2005 Code, § 9-804)
Any person affected by an order which has been upheld in full or in part by the Board of Appeals may, within 60 days after the posting and service of the order, petition the district court for an injunction as provided by Neb. RS 25-1062, or seek to have the order reviewed as may otherwise be provided by law.
(2005 Code, § 9-804)
Whenever the Building Inspector finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health and/or welfare, he or she may, without notice or hearing, issue an order reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring that such action be taken as he or she deems necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this chapter, such order shall be effective immediately. Any person to whom such order is directed shall comply therewith immediately, but upon petition to the Building Inspector shall be afforded a hearing in the manner prescribed under “complaint” of this article as soon as possible. After such hearing, depending upon the findings as to whether the provisions of this article and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with, the Building Inspector shall continue such order in effect, modify it or revoke it.
(2005 Code, § 9-804)
(A) The administration of this article shall be the responsibility of the Building Inspector; he or she will work in close cooperation with the Fire Chief, the county’s Health Department and other officials and agencies; he or she may seek their written opinions concerning the conditions of dwellings or other buildings.
(B) (1) The Building Inspector is authorized to conduct surveys and make inspections in any area of the community to determine compliance with this article or other ordinance he or she is empowered to enforce.
(2) The Building Inspector shall investigate all complaints which have been submitted on the proper forms provided by the city, alleging or charging that a violation of this article exists and/or that a building or dwelling is unfit or unsafe for human habitation or other occupancy.
(3) For the purpose of making such surveys, inspections and investigations, the Building Inspector is hereby authorized, upon identification and statement of purpose, to enter, inspect, survey and investigate if an emergency exists or if requested by the owner or occupant, all buildings, dwellings, dwelling units and general premises. The owner or occupant of every building, dwelling, dwelling units and general premises, or the person in charge thereof, shall give the Building Inspector free access to such building, dwelling, dwelling unit or general premises for the purpose of such inspection, survey or investigation.
(C) The Building Inspector shall keep records of all complaints received, inspection reports, orders and complaints issued and of other actions taken. The records shall be available for public inspection. He or she shall prepare an annual report including statistics based on the records kept.
(D) (1) Whenever it is claimed that the true intent and meaning of this article has been wrongly interpreted or that the time allowed for compliance is unreasonable, the owner, his or her agent or the occupant, as the case may be, may file a notice of appeal from a decision or order of the Building Inspector. Such notice shall be in writing and filed with the city within ten days after the decision or order of the Building Inspector has been made.
(2) The Board, when so appealed to, may modify the decision or order of the Building Inspector. Its decision shall be final, subject, however, to such remedy as any aggrieved person may have at law or in equity. The Board’s decision shall be in writing, shall be filed in the office of the Building Inspector and a certified copy shall be given to the appellant.
(2005 Code, § 9-804)
The Building Inspector and his or her assistants shall be free from personal liability for acts done in good faith in the performance of official duties.
(2005 Code, § 9-804)
The Building Inspector or any one of his or her assistants shall not have a financial interest in the furnishing of labor, material or appliances for the construction, alteration or maintenance of a building, except where he or she is the owner, and shall not act as an agent for real estate sales, leases or rentals.
(2005 Code, § 9-804)
(A) There is hereby created a Board of Building Appeals consisting of the Mayor and eight members of the City Council.
(B) Six members of the Board shall constitute a quorum. In varying the application of any provisions of this code or in modifying an order of the Building Inspector, affirmative votes of not less than six shall be required. No Board member shall act in a case in which he or she has a personal interest. The Board shall meet within 20 days after notice of appeal has been received. The Board shall have the power to administer oaths, affirmations, examine witnesses and receive evidence.
(2005 Code, § 9-804)
Where, because of condition peculiar to a particular building, it would be unreasonably difficult to meet the literal requirements of this code, a variance may be granted by the Board upon written application therefor. Such application shall state in writing the reasons why the variance shall be made. A variance may be granted only where it is evident that reasonable safety and sanitation is assured, and may include conditions not generally specified by this article in order to achieve that end. The variance may include an expiration date. A copy of the variance shall be filed in the office of the Building Inspector and a copy shall be given to the applicant.
(2005 Code, § 9-804)
9-901 Violation; penalty
Any person who violates any of the prohibitions or provisions of any article or section of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor. Unless otherwise specified in the particular article or section for which the person stands convicted of violating, the penalty for such violation shall be in any amount not to exceed $300 in the discretion of the court.
(2005 Code, § 9-901)