What happens to a condemned house in Atlanta?

What happens to a condemned house in Atlanta?

Having your house condemned is something that most people would like to avoid, but sometimes it can’t be helped. However, it’s still a good idea to be well informed about the condemnation process. In this post we explore the reasons why a house might be condemned, and what you can do about it.

Why might a house be condemned?

The most common reason for a house to be condemned is that a government entity has deemed the building unsuitable to live in. To be deemed unsuitable for habitation a house must violate certain housing codes. Housing codes are simply a set of rules put forth by local government entities that seek to regulate construction, and ensure basic levels of safety and quality. Code requirements generally require that a livable house offers hot water, safe electrical outlets, plumbing, heating, and other basic necessities.

Some of the common reasons that houses are condemned include:
  • The building is vacant or boarded up.
  • Utilities are not active.
  • An inspector has noted specific hazards that render the building dangerous to reside in.
  • The building suffers from hygiene issues, is dilapidated, or has structural issues caused by a weather catastrophe.
  • Buildings that detract from nearby property values because they attract criminal activity can also be condemned.

Fixing a Condemned Status

In some jurisdictions, condemnation isn’t a death sentence for the home. Sometimes building authorities are willing to negotiate repair or rehabilitation agreements with homeowners. After making the necessary repairs and passing a complete building inspection, the building authority has the capacity to reverse a condemned status. This is a situation that you may have seen play out on the television show Hoarders.

Problem-Free Homes Can Also Be Condemned

Sadly, houses that abide by code regulations can also be condemned.  The reason for this is something called eminent domain. Eminent domain is the right of the government to take private property away from its owner and redesignate it for a cause that promotes an important public purpose, such as a highway, airport, or other public facility.

The only silver lining of condemnation in these cases is that the owner must be appropriately compensated for the loss of their property. The government will make the home owner an offer of payment that is based on the property’s appraised value. However, sometimes these offers may be insufficient, and in such cases you may decline the payment and submit your own appraisal. Seeking legal help in a situation like this is highly recommended to ensure you receive fair compensation.

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