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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.