Three Common Violations and How to Avoid Them

Written on Saturday June 9, 2018 by Bob Hinrichs

Common code violations

As a homeowner, it can feel like you’re playing a constant game of Whack-A-Mole when it comes to maintaining your property! As soon as you finish one project, another one (or two) pop up! If you own multiple properties, this challenge just becomes even more overwhelming. Past the personal satisfaction you gain from marking off items on your to-do list, it is vital to maintain your properties appropriately to avoid violations and fines. Though there are many homeowners can face, there are three common violations that we will discuss today. We have written an entire article on what happens if you ignore property regulations or violation notices, which you can check out here; however, for today, we will focus on explaining these common violations briefly and provide tips on how to avoid them.

Long Grass and Overgrown Landscaping

One of the most commonly issued violations is for overgrown grass or weeds. Though the exact regulations vary from city to city, the general consensus is that grass cannot grow over 8 or 12 inches.

The solution to avoiding this overgrowth seems pretty obvious: mow your lawn every week or two to prevent overgrowth. But for some, this isn’t a viable reality. If you don’t live near the property you own or are unable to mow yourself because of physical limitations, you may have to hire landscapers to come by on your behalf on a scheduled basis to keep the vegetation under control.

Many property owners remember this in the dead of summer, but depending on the location of your property, this may be something you need to remember even in the beginning of spring or late into the fall. Keep it on your radar early to prevent violations!

Property Disrepair

Property disrepair could be many things such as broken windows or insufficient tuck-pointing on your chimney bricks, but most often it refers to exterior paint failure. That’s right – peeling paint can also lead to an issued violation from your city.

Cracking and peeling paint on a home puts it at risk for moisture damage and rotting. This goes against the city’s requirement that you have to maintain your property’s exterior. Over time, this can become hazardous to not only occupants of the property itself, but of neighboring properties/persons as well.

Luckily, exterior painting should only require upkeep every 7-10 years when done right, so you’re looking at an infrequent expense. The investment can be large depending on the home; however, it’ll likely be cheaper than the fines accrued over time on top of further damage caused by the lack of protection. Elements such as wind, snow, rain, and sun can quickly deteriorate building materials.

Trash in the Yard

When you read the word “trash,” your brain might have jumped right to a vision of fast-food cups and clumps of paper towel strewn about a lawn as if the garbage bin were raided by a raccoon and honestly, we’ve all seen that at one point or another. While that would definitely become a violation if the trash remained for a prolonged period of time, many cities have a looser definition of “trash” than we would think on first instinct.

According to various city regulations, “trash” can refer to any item that wasn’t created for exterior storage. This could include items such as children’s toys, appliances, clothing, etc. Now, don’t get me wrong! You likely won’t receive a violation notice if your child leaves a doll in the front yard for a day or two; however, if your belongings begin to pile up outside, the city can definitely issue one.

The easiest way to avoid this would be to keep your property picked up. Additionally, every item should have a designated storage spot (such as an outside shed). But again, what do you do if you don’t reside at the property you own?

If there are tenants, make sure they know the rules and provide them with exterior storage option if necessary. If the property is vacant and you don’t live anywhere near it, it would be wise to hire a property management company to maintain cleanliness. They can also personally visit the property on a routine basis to ensure it meets regulations.

Moving Forward

Like I said at the beginning, these are just a few of the regulations and violations homeowners face. We know constant upkeep on properties can be extremely overwhelming and almost seem never-ending.

Are you being stretched thin by all of the maintenance on one of your properties? Are you physically too far away to really be able to monitor everything? If so, reach out to us to see how we can help take the stress off your hands! Just click on the green bar on the right!

Please remember this article was written for informational purposes. This article isn’t here to provide legal advice in any particular circumstance or situation.


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