Is your property up to code?

Whether you own rental property or are considering selling your house, ensuring your property is up to the local building, and rental codes is essential. Violations of building, zoning, and property codes could result in hefty fines from your local municipality. If you want to sell your home, code violations could make the process difficult.

Some of the most common code violations on homes in Utah include:

Obstruction of sidewalks or the street: Property owners are responsible for ensuring the trees on their property don’t obstruct traffic ways. If you live on a corner, you may be required to trim back bushes and trees to ensure drivers have a clear view around corners. Additionally, homeowners cannot block sidewalks or roads with vehicles, rocks, dirt, or trailers.

Weed maintenance: Keeping yards free of long weeds is a vital fire protective measure. While measurements may vary by city, it’s common for municipalities to have restrictions on the length of weeds and overgrowth.

Junk and debris storage:  City ordinances may vary a bit by neighborhood, but typically, homeowners cannot keep abandoned vehicles, debris, unused furniture, equipment, or lumber scattered on the property. Homeowners and landlords are responsible for providing proper storage.

Snow removal violations: Since Utah receives a lot of snow each year, most cities require homeowners or property owners to remove snow from sidewalk areas within 24 hours. Snow removal ensures the safety of anyone using the public sidewalks. Incidentally, removing snow from porches and front stairs is essential. If a mail carrier or other delivery person were injured slipping on ice on your property, you could face legal ramifications.

Maintaining fencing: When you own a home or rental property, you must maintain all fences so that they’re in good condition and standing up properly. Some neighborhoods, like Salt Lake City, have requirements like a maximum height and distance from a corner the fence must sit.

Proper parking:  You might think that owning a house or rental property means you can park anywhere you want. However, you could receive a ticket if you park in your yard.

Unpermitted additions: In most cities, you must obtain a permit to build any additional structures on your property (including fences and sheds). Additions and remodels inside the home may also require a permit. Selling a home with unpermitted additions can be problematic, so it’s crucial that you do your research before making changes to your house.

Common violations unique to rentals

In addition to property violations, a few code violations can specifically affect property owners renting their homes to tenants. Since landlords are liable for tenants living on their property, there are some additional codes that you may want to consider.

Occupancy: State and local laws dictate how many occupants can be in a single residence. You must check local ordinances before renting out basement apartments and other units to ensure that you fall within local guidelines.

Utilities: You cannot shut off gas or electricity to entice a tenant to pay rent. State law requires tenants to have safe living conditions, including gas and electricity access.

Missing or broken smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Landlords must ensure that homes have a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in or near bedrooms.

Non-compliant wiring and plumbing: Make sure all wiring in your home is up to date and properly installed. Water heaters should have earthquake straps and proper venting valves.

Handrails: If the rental property has stairs (inside or outside), you should have proper railings to ensure safety for tenants and visitors. Check local ordinances for specific height requirements.

If your home has become a list of code violations and repairs you don’t want to tackle, it might be time to sell. Selling a property with multiple violations or significant damage can be expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, Brick buys property in any condition. If you’re ready to sell fast, fill out our form to receive a fast cash offer.

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