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Condemned Houses: Reporting, Repairs, and Legal Considerations

A building is condemned when the government deems it unfit for habitation. The house is unsafe. Thus, nobody is allowed to live there or utilize it. If people are living in the house when it is condemned, they must leave and are not allowed to come back unless the house undergoes the necessary repairs to solve the issues that led to the condemnation.

Driving past a house that needs to be condemned is inconvenient. This might lead you to wonder, how do you report a house that should be condemned? This article will answer that question and walk you through other related topics.

Reporting a House That Should Be Condemned

Condemned houses

Below are the stages of reporting a house that should be condemned:

  • If you think a home is unfit for human habitation, make an explicit request to the landlord to fix the problem and give him a deadline. You can look up your state’s laws online or in a state’s law library and find the amount of time the landlord has to correct the mistakes.
  • If the landlord does nothing, speak to the neighborhood health inspector. They’ll arrange a house inspection to check for any health code violations.
  • You can also contact the mechanical and drainage authorities and explain the circumstances you think are unsafe or unsanitary.
  • You can report a foul smell coming from the house to the police and express worry for the occupant and suggest a welfare check, but you can’t say your name, and your phone number is hidden from them.

When To Report a House That Needs to be Condemned

You must contact your landlord immediately if you suspect a problem with your apartment. This would give them time to remedy the situation if they were unaware of it.

Check your state’s landlord-tenant laws to find out how long they have to fix the issue before you take any further action.

If your landlord has taken no action to remedy the issue or if the steps taken have not fixed it, you should file a complaint with the relevant local authorities. 

As you can find yourself suddenly without a house, you should also speak with an attorney to decide your next course of action.

What Could Lead to the Condemnation of a House?

A house may be condemned for several reasons. These are brought on by the maintenance of the house, calamities, and the general design. Depending on its current condition, a home may be given the condemned label due to only one fault or several. Among the grounds for condemnation are:

  • Infrastructure breakdown
  • Environmental disasters that cause structural harm
  • Unhygienic living conditions
  • Black mold
  • Termite harm.
  • Unsafe construction materials
  • Water and fire damage

For instance, a single property in a desirable neighborhood can be condemned due to termite damage and unhygienic living conditions caused by the occupants. On the other hand, several homes on a particular street can be considered dangerous due to nearby sinkholes that could engulf their properties.

If a home has been vacant and boarded up for a long time, it may be condemned. Additionally, if they lack services like power and water, houses may be condemned. These are critical for residents to stay safe in the extreme cold and hot months and to maintain basic hygiene practices.

Can a Condemned Building be Sold?

You might wish to sell your house if it is a condemned property. This isn’t always simple, though. Some local governments won’t let you sell a condemned property even if you know someone who could perform the required repairs.

If you reside in a location where a condemned property may be sold, be honest about its state. Bring in investors with experience taking down or rebuilding condemned properties. These are probably quick cash purchasers who can purchase your house without the requirement for financing.

The alternative is to perform the repairs yourself. In most circumstances, it is easier said than done. While black mold and termite damage can be repaired, some structural problems are unfixable. It will be necessary to demolish the house in such cases.

Form a strategy with a real estate advisor to sell your condemned property. They may have specific recommendations regarding whether you should turn the property over to a new owner or whether you can perform the necessary repairs.

Can you purchase a condemned house?

Condemned houses

Although it is feasible to purchase a condemned property and frequently offer significant discounts, doing so has disadvantages.

First, you will need to overcome many regulations to purchase the property. You must look for any liens the former owner left on the property, such as unpaid property taxes and other obligations. You will need to engage with the lenders who issued them to clear them and avoid inheriting the debt.

It’s possible that lenders won’t be eager to finance the acquisition of the house. Some lenders won’t accept the risk, even if you intend to rebuild the house completely. You will either have to use cash to pay for the purchase or deal with a private lender aware of your objectives.

Finally, you probably need to get the acquisition approved by the city. You might need to provide evidence of your remediation plans to restore safety to the condemned property.

But as soon as these obstacles are removed, you ought to be able to buy the house and begin making improvements to it.


The federal, state, and municipal governments and some government agencies have the authority to condemn private property. Additionally, the government has granted several private corporations the right or power of eminent domain.

Dangerous conditions such as exposed wires, holes on the floor, and more can render a house uninhabitable. The stages highlighted in this article will be helpful in reporting such a house for condemnation.

After a house has been condemned, no one will be allowed to stay in it until the required repairs are done. Also, in some states, a condemned house can be sold to a person with the ability to repair it or rebuild it, while in other states, this is not possible