Need info about Codes and Regulations Louisville, KY?
If so, we’d like to help you understand what’s going on.
(Just so you know up front, we buy houses in just about any condition, Once in a while we have worked with the Codes and Regulations people to resolve issues related to the property maintenance code. We are NOT attorneys or anything, so please check out anything we write here with your own lawyer.)
This page is just for FYI purposes. It is set up to try to answer questions that a person might have if they get a notice from the city that they need to do something about the condition of their property. So, here we go:
Who are these “Codes and Regulations” folks?
This is a department of the Louisville Metro local government. The department has a Property Maintenance Division that has inspectors who inspect properties here in the county.
What do they do?
The mission statement of the Department of Codes and Regulations is “To promote and provide quality and responsive code enforcement activities to ensure the public health, safety and welfare of all citizens and visitors of our community”.
The department is involved with several issues such as liquor (ABC) licenses, specialty licenses, and event permits. They also have a Property Maintenance Division. The division’s stated goal is :
“To help prevent the deterioration of our neighborhoods by improving property maintenance and use and to maintain the highest safety and sanitation standards for the many residential and non-residential properties in our community.”
If you got a note from Metro government about the condition of your Louisville, Kentucky property, it probably came from the Property Maintenance Division.
What standard do they use to figure out if my property “needed” a citation?
The inspectors aren’t allowed to just “make it up as they go along”. They base their work on the Property Maintenance Code. According to the Department, the Code:
- Establishes a minimum maintenance standards for such elements as basic equipment, light, ventilation, heating, sanitation and fire safety.
- Fixes responsibility among owners and occupants for following the code.
- Regulates the use of existing structures and premises.
- Provides for administration, enforcement and penalties.
The Property Maintenance Code is published and posted online.
Why did they send me this notice in the mail?
You probably got the notice from Codes and Regulations because either someone reported a possible code violation to Metro government or one of the building inspectors was driving by and noticed something that was not in line with the codes/regulations regarding your property.
What should I do about this notice?
The notice includes a list of the problems found by the inspector and what to do about it. The notice also gives a re inspection date.
The intent is to let you know what needs to be done and how much time you have to get things in order. Most of the time, if you look at the property yourself after you get the notice, you’ll see the same stuff the inspector saw. Yeah, that gutter fell off and needs to go back up. The tenant’s kid broke a window and it needs fixin’. The house is vacant and the grass is about two feet tall, so it needs mowing. There will not likely be much mystery. Most of the time, you’ll look at it and understand what’s going on and what to do about it (at least in a general way) just from looking at it.
By the way, the inspector managed to find their way to your property without an appointment in the first place, and they also find their way back without a specific appointment time for re-inspection, although they won’t normally be back before the inspection date on the notice.
What if I think there has been a mistake?
The notice has the name and business contact information of the person who inspected your property and found violations. You can actually contact the inspector and they will answer your questions.
NOTE: Don’t argue with these folks or otherwise cause them to have a bad day. Also, don’t argue with these folks or otherwise cause them to have a bad day. Just one more thought for you: Don’t argue with these folks or otherwise cause them to have a bad day.
The inspectors have a lot of authority but also have at least some discretion in terms of how they handle these cases. For example, they can give you a little extra time to fix things if you are going out of town, etc. Treat them like a person and they will likely treat you like a person in return.
If you talk with the inspector and the situation is not resolved, there’s an appeal process that comes into play for a more formal hearing of your concerns by people who have higher authority. For folks who are interested in where the ability to appeal to the government in matters such as possible code violations comes from this:
“The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution each contain a due process clause. Due process deals with the administration of justice and thus the due process clause acts as a safeguard from arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property by the Government outside the sanction of law.”
Pretty cool, huh?
What if I want to comply, but am not sure about how to do it?
The notice/citation and the inspector can tell you what needs to be done to get squared away with the codes/regulations. However, they will not be able to give step-by-step”lessons” on exactly how to tuck point masonry, put boards over windows, or do other specific repairs, etc. If you do not have the skills or have a friend/family member who can help you, you may need to hire someone (no, the inspectors can’t recommend a brick mason, carpenter, tree service, etc. they know – it would be a conflict of interest/violation of ethics to give this type of referral). You can ask around to find other people who have found a good contractor, and maybe use them. In this modern day and time you can also turn to internet services such as AngiesList.com to find contractors who have been rated highly by people who have used them.
If you are going to try a do-it-yourself approach, some people have found that employees at their local hardware store or stores like Home Depot/Lowe’s are pretty good about giving advice on repairs. There are also sites such as FamilyHandyman.com and HomeRepair.about.com that can give you education about do-it-yourself repairs.
Sometimes houses fall into disrepair because the owner doesn’t have the money to repair them. Figuring out how to come up with cash for repairs is beyond the scope of this web page…except to say that you can always sell your property and just not worry about this stuff anymore. (Hint, hint; Call us now at (502) 631-9392 or fill out our form on this page if you want to just say “phooey” to all of this and get rid of your house and your headaches at the same time.)
What happens if I don’t comply?
There is a system in place for Codes and Regulations Louisville KY to fine property owners if they don’t fix violations in a reasonable period of time. There are re-inspections scheduled, and more fines can occur as a result if problems are still not addressed. If you don’t pay the fines after a reasonable period of time, the Department of Codes and Regulations will take steps to change the fines into a lien on the property.
There are opportunities prior to this for hearings, etc. to make sure you have the chance to let your side of the story be known, etc. You can appeal to the Property Maintenance/Nuisance Code Hearing Board. (However, if at all possible, it’s best to try to “nip it in the bud” as early as possible and fix the problems when you are first notified that they are there. Frankly, it just gets more expensive the longer it takes to fix the problem. Property deteriorates, requiring more expensive repairs, fines start to pile up and it gets to be a real drag.)
If a property has overgrowth of grass/weeds and/or trash in the yard, Louisville Metro government will make arrangements for mowing/cleaning of yards and bill you for it, if you don’t handle it. They do the same thing if the neighborhood vandals break windows/exterior doors. These bills for mowing/cleaning/boarding can also end up resulting in liens if you don’t pay.
What is a Building and Housing/Boarding lien?
If you don’t take care of the problems with the property and don’t pay the fines, the Department of Codes and Regulations can make arrangements for Metro government to go to court to secure fines/money owed for violations with a claim against your property. These liens include a 18% annual interest rate (ouch!). If you want to sell the property, you will have to pay off the lien before the property title is transferred to the new owner.
As an FYI, the notice/citation/code violations/fix-it list has “Department of Codes and Regulations” and “Property Maintenance” near the top of the page. This is NOT a lien or lien notification.
On the other hand, the more serious lien document will have “Office of Management and Budget” “Accounts Receivable Division” and “Civil Penalty Lien Affidavit” across the top of the page.
What if I don’t pay the lien?
If you don’t pay the lien, the city can do a foreclosure on the property. If the property is sold for more than the amount of any liens (including interest, etc.), the lien holder (Metro government, so far as BH/Boarding liens go) will get what is owed them, and the property owner gets whatever is left. (Keep in mind that other lien holders such as lenders will get paid before you, too.)
If there isn’t enough money left to pay Metro government, they may well try to get you on the hook for it personally. Again, “ouch!”
What if I just don’t want to deal with all of this?
It’s true. We’re a local “We buy houses right here in Louisville, Kentucky” company. If you feel like you don’t want to keep dealing with a property that is involved in the Codes and Regulations Property Maintenance Division system, please either fill out the information form at the top of this page, or call us at (502) 631-9392. We are always looking for properties that need work. You can sell a problem property to us, and we will handle all the details without fees or commissions.
Problems don’t get better if you wait longer.
Contact us now at (502) 631-9392 or fill out the form at the top of this page.
Thanks, and have a great day.
Fast Cash House Buyers, LLC