Why are homes condemned in Denver?

Why are homes condemned in Denver?

Houses are condemned when building inspectors for the county or city of Denver have determined that the house is unsafe or unfit to live in.

Because the city has decided the home is unfit or unsafe to live in, when a home is condemned, there will be orders from the building instructor for the home to be vacated. Usually the time ordered to vacate the property is anywhere from 1 to 30 days.

Depending on the reason for the orders of condemnation, a homeowner will have some time to repair the damages to the home to reverse the order. Here is what happens to a condemned house in Denver.

Fire and Other Damage

Serious damage to the home can cause the city of Denver to condemn a house. Many forces can cause serious damage to a home. This includes severe snow storms and floods but the most common is fire damage. This is common in cases where insurance companies are not helping to restore the home, and the homeowner is left in a situation where they have a home that has been too damaged that they are unable to live in it. The home ends up sitting vacant.

Chemicals and Infestations

Homes that have suffered severe damage or contain large amounts of hazardous chemicals may be condemned by the city. Sometimes crime can cause situations where hazardous chemicals or explosives may pose a safety issue. If there is activity involving illegal drugs, or crimes involving homemade bombs or explosives, this is grounds for a house to be condemned. Even if the police and hazmat crew has come in and removed the immediate threat, dangerous chemicals may still be unsafe and Denver will condemn a house to protect citizens from harm.

A house can even be condemned due to serious infestations from insects or animals. Abandoned homes or careless homeowners may lead to a mice or rat infestation that is beyond repair. Termite infestations that are left uncorrected can also lead to issues and structural damage that is unsafe. The most common infestation seen with condemned houses is bat infestations. Luckily, in Denver, these types of infestations are not as common as other parts of the country. Severe mold can also be a cause for public health concerns.

Other Factors

If homes are at least one year behind on property taxes, the city can also condemn a house. Homes that are unhygienic, or homes that have signs of hoarding, may also be condemned. These homes can affect the health of the homes around it and bring down property values in the area.

What Happens When a House is Condemned in Denver?

The homeowner will receive a notice of violation or emergency corrective action and possible penalties involved and given instructions to correct the action along with a timeline. If the property poses an immediate threat to public health, this order may be immediate. In some situations, the city may take corrective action and notify the owner within 20 days.

After a home has been condemned, the owner has the opportunity to complete a form explaining their plan to remedy the situation to the city of Denver. This form is called a remedial plan. If the remedial plan is not filed or registered, fines will begin to accrue.

Fines for Condemned Houses in Denver

A homeowner can be fined up to $1,000 for every year that the house is on the neglected and derelict (condemned) list.

The city may also fine a homeowner up to $500 per day up to a total of $15,000 for homeowners who are on the list of condemned houses but do not file the registration form for remedial plans or take the corrective actions listed in the remedial plans.

It is important if you or someone you know has a home that has been condemned, that you act fast to fix the situation. This will prevent further fines and corrective actions from the city. More information can be found under municipal code section 10-138.