How Do You Condemn a House?
To get a house condemned, make a complaint to your local building commission, including detailed notes about the danger the house presents. Wait for the agency to send a licensed inspector, make a good-faith offer to the owner, and go to trial, if necessary. Offer to testify at the trial about the property.
- Research local laws
Read through the building code for your county to understand how the condemnation process works; it can vary dramatically from place to place. Identify the location of your local building code enforcement agency, which may be called the building commission or the building inspector's office.
- Make a complaint about the property
Visit the property in question, and identify the features that make it a danger. Note the state of the foundation, a collapsing roof, broken windows, caved-in floors or plants that have grown through the walls. Take photos from the sidewalk or a neighboring property. Send or drop off your complaint to the local building code enforcement agency.
- Wait for the condemning agency to complete its process
Ask for updates as the condemning agency sends an inspector to the property and makes a good-faith offer to the owner. If the issue goes to trial, offer to testify about the hazard the property presents to the neighborhood. Be patient throughout the process; it may be long and drawn out.