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(A) General. When a structure or equipment is found by the residential building official, or designee, to be unsafe, or when a structure is found unfit for human occupancy, or is found unlawful, such structure shall be condemned pursuant to the provisions of this code.
(1) Unsafe structures. An unsafe structure is one that is found to be dangerous to the life, health, property or safety of the public or the occupants of the structure by not providing minimum safeguards to protect or warn occupants in the event of fire, or because such structure contains unsafe equipment or is so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, structurally unsafe or of such faulty construction or unstable foundation, that partial or complete collapse is possible.
(2) Unsafe equipment. Unsafe equipment includes any boilers, heating equipment, elevator, moving stairway, electrical wiring or device, flammable liquid containers or other equipment on the premises or within the structure which is in such disrepair or condition that such equipment is a hazard to life, health, property or safety of the public or occupants of the premises or structure.
(3) Structure unfit for human occupancy. A structure is unfit for human occupancy whenever the residential building official, or designee, finds that such structure is unsafe, unlawful or, because of the degree to which the structure is in disrepair or lacks maintenance, is unsanitary, vermin or rat infested, contains filth and contamination, or lacks ventilation, illumination, sanitary or heating facilities, or other essential equipment required by this code, or because the location of the structure constitutes a hazard to the occupants of the structure or to the public.
(4) Unlawful structure. An unlawful structure is one found in whole or in part to be occupied by more persons than permitted under this code, or was erected, altered or occupied contrary to law.
(B) Examination and record of unsafe, unsanitary, and damaged buildings. The residential building official, or designee, shall examine every building or structure reported or observed as damaged, dangerous, structurally unsafe, or constituting a health or fire hazard; and he or she shall cause a report of such examination to be prepared and filed in a docket of unsafe or damaged structures and premises, stating the use of the building or structure and the nature and estimated amount of any such damage.
(C) Uncovering defects. Whenever it is established by inspection that definite and serious hazard to safety or health may exist, the residential building official, or designee, shall have the right to require the removal, or may remove, lath, plaster, boarding, earth or other cover or obstruction thereof, but the extent of such removal shall be that reasonably necessary for such inspection.
(D) Vacant structures. If the structure is vacant and unfit for human habitation and occupancy, and is not in danger of structural collapse, the residential building official, or designee, is authorized to post a placard of condemnation on the premises and order the structure closed up so as not to be an attractive nuisance. Upon failure of the owner to close up the premises within the time specified by the order, the residential building official, or designee, shall cause the premises to be closed and secured through any available public agency or by contract with private persons and the cost thereof shall be charged against the property upon which the structure is located and shall be a lien upon such property, and maybe collected by any other legal resource.
(E) Unsafe building orders. If an unsafe or unsanitary condition is found in a building or structure as defined in § 1323.08(A), the residential building official, or designee, shall serve on the owner, agent, or person in control of the building or structure a written order hereinafter referred to as an “unsafe building order” designating the building or structure, describing the repairs or improvements required to render the building or structure or its equipment or service facilities safe and secure, and/or sanitary, ordering that such repairs or improvements he made, or that the building or structure or equipment or service facilities or unsafe portion thereof be demolished, within a period also stipulated in the order, and requiring the person upon whom the unsafe building order is served to give notice in writing immediately to the residential building official, or designee, stating whether he or she intends to comply with the unsafe building order and, if the order is in the alternative as to repair or demolition, what action he or she intends to take.
(F) Placarding. Upon failure of the owner or persons responsible to comply with the unsafe building notice provisions within the time give, the residential building official, or designee, shall post on the premises or on defective equipment a placard bearing the word “condemned” and a statement of the penalties provided for occupying the premises, operating the equipment or removing the placard. The residential building official, or designee, shall remove the condemnation placard whenever the defect or defects upon which the condemnation and placarding action were based have been eliminated. Any person who defaces or removes a condemnation placard without the approval of the residential building official, or designee, shall be subject to the penalties provided by this code.
(G) Discontinuance of service. The residential building official, or designee shall furnish a copy of all unsafe building orders to the public utilities serving that building or structure which may be affected by the condition responsible for such order, and shall mark thereon a request that service being furnished the building or structure by such utility be discontinued when in his or her opinion the continuance of such service will constitute a hazard to the public. Upon receipt of such copy of notice and the request thereof, any person, firm, association and the like supplying such service shall promptly discontinue its supply at the meter in the designated portion of the building or structure. It shall be unlawful for such person, firm, association and the like thereafter to continue such service or to restore the same until furnished with a copy of a certificate of approval from the residential building official, or designee, certifying that an inspection has been made, that the hazardous conditions have been corrected and that the affected installation has been brought into substantial compliance with the requirements of this code.
(H) No liability upon public utilities or public authorities. No liability shall be imposed upon any public service company or public authority for failure to render service, or for disconnecting service to any person or place where such failure of disconnection is based upon the non-issuance of a permit and/or certificate of approval by the residential building official, or designee, or upon an order hereunder by the residential building official, or designee, to disconnect such service.
(I) Disregard of unsafe building order. Upon refusal of the person on whom an unsafe building order is served to comply therewith, or upon his or her failure or neglect to reply thereto stating his or her intention with regard thereto, or upon his or her failure or neglect actually to comply therewith, or upon his or her use of the unsafe building, structure, equipment or service facilities in violation of the unsafe building order issued under § 1323.08 the proper legal official shall be advised and shall institute such action in the court as may be appropriate to compel compliance. Property shall be subject to penalties as delineated in § 1323.99.
(J) Appeals. The owner of any building or structure with regard to which an unsafe building order has been issued and served under this section shall have the right to appeal such order to the Board of Building Appeals as defined in Chapter 1303 of the Lebanon Codified Ordinances. Such appeal shall be presented in writing within 15 days after service of such unsafe building order, but shall not operate to stay any emergency action or the performance of any emergency work on such building or structure which the residential building official, or designee, deems immediately necessary as provided under § 1323.09; nor shall such appeal be heard unless it alleges such order to be unnecessary, improper, or unreasonable, and contains statement of the specific reasons which the appellant contends support such allegation(s).
(Ord. 9285, passed 3-28-06)