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Housing Maintenance Code

CHAPTER 2
HOUSING MAINTENANCE CODE

[table of contents]

SUBCHAPTER 5
LEGAL REMEDIES AND ENFORCEMENT

ARTICLE 7
Vacate Orders

Section
27-2139 Power to Order Dwelling Vacated
27-2140 Content and Effect of Vacate Order
27-2141 Notice
27-2142 Reoccupancy After Vacate Order


Sec. 27-2139 Power to order dwelling vacated
  1. Any dwelling or part thereof, which, because of a structural or fire safety hazard, defects in plumbing, sewage, drainage, or cleanliness, or any other violation of this code or any other applicable law, constitutes a danger to the life, health, or safety of its occupants, shall be deemed to be unfit for human habitation.

  2. The department may order or cause any dwelling or part thereof which is unfit for human habitation to be vacated.

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Sec. 27-2140 Content and effect of vacate order

  1. An order issued pursuant to subdivision b of section 27-2139 of this article shall set forth the conditions which render the dwelling or part thereof unfit for human habitation.

  2. The order shall require all persons occupying the dwelling or part affected to vacate it within a period of time, not less than twenty-four hours nor more than ten days, to be stated in the order.

  3. 1. The order shall require that the owner correct the conditions which render the dwelling or part thereof unfit for human habitation within a period of time, not to exceed ten days, to be stated in the order.

    2. If the department has not revoked or extended the order pursuant to subdivision b of section 27-2142 of this article, where such dwelling is a class B multiple dwelling or a class A multiple dwelling used for single room occupancy pursuant to section two hundred forty-eight of the multiple dwelling law, the owner of such dwelling shall be subject to a civil penalty of five thousand dollars for each dwelling unit which is included in said order. The fine shall be recoverable by the department by civil action in a court of appropriate jurisdiction. Such action must be commenced or notice of pendency filed within one year of the effective date of the vacate order.

  4. If a vacate order is not complied with within the time specified, the department may cause the dwelling or part thereof affected to be vacated.

  5. The filing of a vacate order in the office of the county clerk in the same manner as a notice of pendency shall be notice to any subsequent purchaser, mortgagee or lienor that any lien resulting from such vacate order shall be enforceable against and superior to the rights of such purchaser, mortgagee or lienor.

  6. When the department obtains a determination in an action under this article against an owner, judgment may be entered against the premises which shall constitute a lien when a transcript of such judgment is filed in the office of the county clerk in the manner prescribed for the filing of mechanic's liens and may be enforced against the premises as such, except that such lien shall have a duration of ten years.

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Sec. 27-2141 Notice
  1. The vacate order shall be served upon the owner by mailing a copy to the person last registered with the department as owner or agent by certified mail, return receipt requested. The affidavit of an employee or agent of the department, stating facts which show that the vacate order was duly addressed and mailed, shall be presumptive evidence that such vacate order was duly served.

  2. The vacate order shall be served upon the occupants of the dwelling by affixing a copy prominently on the dwelling which is the subject of the vacate order.

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Sec. 27-2142 Reoccupancy after vacate order
  1. No person shall occupy, or cause or permit to be occupied, any dwelling or part thereof while such dwelling or part is subject to a vacate order.

  2. If the department finds that the conditions rendering a building or part unfit for human habitation have been corrected, it may revoke a vacate order. If the department finds that the unlawful conditions are being corrected and that continued occupancy may be permitted consistent with health and safety, it may extend the time period for compliance fixed in the order.

  3. The department may by regulations set forth standards and provide for hearings to determine when such vacate order should be revoked or extended.

  4. The department may require as a condition for revocation of a vacate order, that the owner make reasonable effort to notify any tenants who may have vacated the dwelling pursuant to such order that said tenant has a right to re-occupy the dwelling.

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