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What Happens When You Receive a Code Violation?

There are code enforcement inspectors who look for code violations concerning homes and/or properties. Say, for example, you live in a community with a homeowners’ association and there are rules and codes you’re supposed to comply with, but you don’t… then you might receive a code violation notice. What happens then?

Code violations indicate that there’s something substandard that needs correction and you’re expected to be compliant with what the powers-that-be want. Violation notices (or “orders of correction”) are official documents that tell responsible parties the details of a substandard condition. The date and location where the violation was determined is also included on the document(s). Furthermore, information about the specific code as well as expectations for compliance are usually stated. So, for an easy example, in simple terms: “You painted your door blue. We do not allow blue doors in this residential community. We only allow brown or white ones. You have until the end of this month to make sure your door is brown or white,” gives you an idea of why a violation notice would be sent to your house.

After the deadline given for changes to be made, a re-inspection of corrections should take place. An inspector will come to the property and make sure what was asked of the home/property owner actually got corrected and is now in compliance.

Sometimes the wording in a violation notice or order of correction can get quite technical using terms associated with building systems. If you can’t understand some of the terms, you should look them up online or consult someone who knows about such terms and can explain them to you. You should also verify the address on the violation to make sure they sent it to the right person/address. And, of course, you should review the compliance deadline so you know exactly when the issue needs to be resolved.

If and when you comply in a timely manner, you should be fine. Complete the repairs and resolve the violations during the period given to you. If you don’t do that, however, there could be progressive enforcement actions applied to your property, such as fines and/or a lien placed on the property. You or the person who wants to buy your house/property may eventually have to pay those fines, which can really add up over time. Ideally, you don’t want to have liens, so avoid them if you can!

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