Understanding Health Violations

City Health codes are created to protect residents from becoming ill or injured due to dangerous or disease infested buildings. There are two types of health code violations that apply to landlords; structural and maintenance health violations.

  • Structural violations include if a building is not built or repaired according to city building codes. Failure to fix or construct a building according to a city’s building code puts residents in potential danger as the code is in place to ensure that building is safe. Serious cracks in the wall or ceiling, as well as significant flooding and water stains, can all be indications of a building with structural issues and potential violations.

  • Maintenance violations are violations that are caused by a landlord or property manager’s failure to maintain their rental units correctly. Maintenance issues may include pest problems, lack of working utilities and lack of garbage removal. These violations can lead a rental to become uninhabitable.

In certain states like Minnesota, a tenant can contact an inspector if they feel that there is a health code violation that their landlord is not addressing. If an inspector finds a health code violation they will give landlords a fixed amount of time to remedy the issue or be served a summons to appear in court. In addition, it is illegal for the landlord to retaliate against a tenant that contacts the health department for an inspector.

It is essential that landlords track all relevant correspondence with tenants and state or local inspectors. Failure to prove that you have remedied the violation can lead to substantial legal penalties. Having an advanced Property Management System such as RISSOFT’s Property Management Software System can help you track all related repairs and maintenance so that you can prove you have been addressing a tenants concerns if they decide to take unsupported legal action.

This post is provided by RISSOFT Residential and Commercial Property Management Software, specializing in innovative and cutting-edge property management software for all 50 states. Request a demo or contact us today to receive more information.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.