(A)   It shall be unlawful for a person, firm, or corporation to be in conflict with or in violation of this chapter. The enforcement authority, as defined above, shall serve a notice of violation or order in accordance with division (B) below. If the notice of violation is not complied with, the enforcement authority shall institute the appropriate proceeding at law or in equity to restrain, correct, or abate the violation, or to require the removal or termination of the unlawful occupancy of the structure in violation of the provisions of this chapter or direction pursuant thereto.
   (B)   Any person who shall violate a provision of this chapter, or fail to comply therewith, or with any of the requirements thereof, shall be guilty of a Class C code violation and shall be subject to a civil penalty for each violation. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense. The imposition of the penalties herein prescribed shall not preclude the legal officer of the jurisdiction from instituting appropriate action to restrain, correct, or abate a violation, or to prevent illegal occupancy of a building, structure, or premises, or to stop an illegal act, conduct, business, or utilization of the building, structure, or premises.
   (C)   Whenever the enforcement authority has determined that there has been a violation of this chapter or has grounds to believe that a violation has occurred, notice shall be given to the owner or the person or persons responsible therefor in the manner prescribed below. Notices for condemnation procedures shall also comply with this section.
      (1)   These notices prescribed shall:
         (a)   Be in writing;
         (b)   Include a description of the real estate sufficient for identification;
         (c)   Include a statement of the violation or violations and why the notice is being issued;
         (d)   Include a correction order allowing a reasonable time to make the repairs and improvements required to bring the dwelling unit or structure into compliance with the provisions of this chapter; and
         (e)   Inform the property owner of the right to appeal.
      (2)   The notice shall be deemed to be properly served if a copy thereof is:
         (a)   Delivered personally;
         (b)   Sent by certified or first-class mail addressed to the last known address; or
         (c)   If the notice is returned showing that the letter was not delivered, a copy thereof shall be posted in a conspicuous place in or about the structure affected by the notice.
      (3)   Penalties for noncompliance shall be set forth in Section 1.
   (D)   When a structure or equipment is found by the enforcement authority to be unsafe, that structure shall be condemned pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. 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 the structure contains unsafe equipment or is so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, structurally unsafe, or of such faulty construction or so unstable, that partial or complete collapse is possible. Unsafe equipment includes any boiler, heating equipment, 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 the equipment is a hazard to life, health, property, or safety of the public or occupants of the premises or structure.
   (E)   A structure is unfit for human occupancy whenever the enforcement authority finds that the structure is unsafe 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 chapter, or because the location of the structure constitutes a hazard to the occupants of the structure or to the public.
   (F)   If the structure is vacant and unfit for human occupancy, and is not in danger of structural collapse, the enforcement authority is authorized to post a placard of condemnation on the premises and order the structure closed up so as not to be a public nuisance (as defined in § 95.01 of this code). Upon failure of the owner to close up the premises within the time specified in the order, the enforcement authority shall cause the premises to be closed through any available public agency or by contract or arrangement by private persons and the cost thereof shall be charged against the real estate upon which the structure is located and shall be a lien upon that real estate.
   (G)   Whenever the enforcement authority has condemned a structure or equipment under the provisions of this section, notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place in or about the structure affected by the notice and served on the owner or the person or persons responsible for the structure or equipment. If the notice pertains to equipment, it shall also be placed on the condemned equipment.
   (H)   Upon failure of the owner or person responsible to comply with the notice provisions within the time given, the enforcement authority 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.
   (I)   Any person who shall occupy a placarded premises or shall operate placarded equipment, and any owner or any person responsible for the premises who shall let anyone occupy a placarded premises or operate placarded equipment, shall be liable for the penalties provided by this chapter. The enforcement authority 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 enforcement authority shall be subject to the penalties provided by this chapter.
(1987 Code, § 7-63) (Ord. 33, 2000, passed 11-13-2000) Penalty, see § 10.99