What Happens to a Condemned House in Boston?
Houses can be condemned for several reasons. The main reason that a house is condemned in Boston is because the city decides that the house poses a health or safety hazard to those living in or around the home. If homes are not meeting certain health and safety standards, the city of Boston will step in to protect the health and safety of those in the home and the neighborhood.
The process for condemned houses begins with a notice to the homeowner instructing them on any violations where a house is not meeting the Boston housing codes and standards.
Reasons for Boston to Condemn a House
The home must have electricity, water, heat and a bathroom to meet building codes. While there are other Boston building codes that must be met, those four are common reasons for the city to condemn a house. Homes with severe structural issues and homes that have been clearly neglected are likely to be cited by the city and run the risk of being condemned.
Abandoned houses can pose a threat to the community because it leaves the property open to trespassers and can encourage an environment where crime can thrive and can lower property values. Boston has implemented an Abandoned Housing Initiative which gives the state authority under the State Sanitary Code to help enforce regulations to repair the properties or bring them up to code. The initiative will allow people to petition the court to move the process along.
Other Health Issues
Mold can be another reason the city decides to condemn a house. Black mold can spread throughout carpet, drywall, furniture and other areas of the home. Severe cases of black mold infestations are a hazard to the health of those who live in or around the home. Black mold can cause serious respiratory issues after prolonged exposure. It can cause vomiting, nausea, headaches, and mold spores can begin to grow inside the lungs which causes chronic diseases like emphysema.
Lack of hygiene and hoarding is also another reason why houses become condemned in Boston. Hoarding and other hygiene factors usually lead neighbors to file complaints with the city and that will lead to an investigation.
What Happens After a House is Condemned?
The city of Boston will notify a homeowner that repairs need to be made to meet the State Sanitary Code. They will also notify anyone else with legal interests in the property. This is usually the bank, or anyone else listed on the mortgage. From there, the homeowner must show that they can pay for the repairs and that the repairs are going to be completed by a licensed contractor.
If the repairs cannot be made, anyone living inside the home is notified to vacate. The homeowner will have the right to a hearing. The hearing will give an opportunity for anyone involved in the condemnation to oppose it.
If a property is condemned, the homeowner will be required to pay the costs of boarding up the windows and doors that can be accessed from the ground. A lien can be placed on the property if the homeowner does not comply or refuses to pay.
If you or someone you know is receiving notice that their house must be brought up to the State Sanitary Code, it should be taken very seriously. Condemned houses are unsightly and can be an embarrassment and cause legal issues. The city of Boston will do what they need to in order to keep the residents safe and sanitary.