§ 160.30  POWERS.
   (A)   General. The minimum housing inspector is authorized to exercise such powers as may be necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purpose and provisions of this chapter, including the following powers in addition to others granted in this chapter:
      (1)   To inspect and investigate residential structures and the dwelling conditions in the town in order to determine which dwellings therein are unfit for human habitation and unsafe for the public.
      (2)   To administer oaths and affirmations, examine witnesses and receive evidence.
      (3)   To obtain, serve, and execute administrative inspection warrants, if necessary, as provided in G.S. 15-27.2.
      (4)   To enter upon premises for the purpose of making examinations and inspections; provided that such entries shall be made between 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. and in such manner as to cause the least possible inconvenience to the persons in possession.
      (5)   To issue notices of violation and impose civil penalties.
      (6)   To abate the violations if uncorrected by the owner.
   (B)   Inspections.
      (1)   It shall be the duty of the minimum housing inspector to periodically examine the dwellings located in the town for the purpose of determining the fitness of dwellings for human habitation, and for the enforcement and administration of this code.
      (2)   Except as provided in G.S. 160A-424(b), the minimum housing inspector may make periodic inspections only when there is reasonable cause to believe that unsafe, unsanitary, or otherwise hazardous or unlawful conditions may exist in a residential building or structure. For purposes of this section, the term "reasonable cause" means any of the following: (i) the landlord or owner has a history of more than two verified violations of the housing ordinances or codes within a 12-month period; (ii) there has been a complaint that substandard conditions exist within the building or there has been a request that the building be inspected; (iii) the land management department has actual knowledge of an unsafe condition within the building; or (iv) violations of the local ordinances or codes are visible from the outside of the property.
      (3)   If, during the course of an inspection, the minimum housing inspector finds evidence of construction in progress that would require a permit (or permits) pursuant to G.S. § 160A-417, the owner shall produce evidence that such permit(s) have been obtained.
      (4)   It shall be the responsibility of the owner to relocate any moveable obstructions (furniture, boxes, appliances and construction materials, for example) that would otherwise interfere with a complete minimum housing inspection.
(Ord. 16-12, passed 11-15-16)