The City of Charlottesville’s Code of Ordinances (Chapter 5, Article V) establishes guidelines by which the Building Maintenance Code Official and his designated officials (inspectors) may determine that a building is unsafe or a blight on the neighborhood based on various conditions.
UNSAFE STRUCTURES - PROCESS
If a building is reported to be unsafe, the Building Maintenance Code Official or his designees (inspectors) shall inspect the building to determine whether it is, in fact, unsafe.
If the structure is determined to be unsafe, a report is generated and filed in the records of Neighborhood Development Services and issued to the owner indicating the unsafe conditions and the severity thereof.
This notice will be hand-delivered directly to the owner of record, or if hand-delivery is impossible, sent via certified mail and a copy posted on the property.
The property owner will have 30 days to remove, repair, or secure the unsafe structure unless emergency conditions exist.
After such time has expired, if the structure remains unsafe, the City may take action to repair, remove, or secure the structure to make it safe, billing the costs to the owner per Section 5-4 of the Charlottesville Code of Ordinances.
If there is immediate danger of collapse or failure of the structure, in addition to the above actions, the Building Maintenance Code Official shall have the power to secure the unsafe structure and/or make emergency repairs or remove the structure to make it safe. He/she shall also have the power to placard the structure as unfit for human occupancy. Any occupancy for any reason other than performing repairs would then be prohibited.
BLIGHT - PROCESS
Sections 5-191 through 5-198 of the Charlottesville Code of Ordinances specify means by which the Director of Neighborhood Development Services and his designees may determine that a structure is a blighted property “by reason of dilapidation, overcrowding, lack of ventilation, light and sanitary facilities, deleterious land use, or any combination of these or other factors… detrimental to the safety, health, or welfare of the community.” These sections, available online, may be consulted if more information about the notification and abatement process is desired.
Please note that it may take several weeks for the process to play out before the violation is actually abated. During this time, the City is actively pursuing abatement of the violation, and we appreciate your patience.
TO REPORT A VIOLATION
To report a violation, call Neighborhood Development Services at (434) 970-3182 and provide the address or general location of the violation so that your call may be forwarded to the appropriate inspector for that area.
IF YOU WERE CITED
If you were cited for a violation and would like to speak with an inspector, please all Neighborhood Development Services at (434) 970-3182 and request to speak with the inspector who issued the notice. Our goal is to obtain voluntary compliance, and therefore most reasonable requests for extra time or for referrals for special assistance are granted, whenever possible.