Details for Dwellings Unfit For Human Habitation Town of Shoals

An Ordinance

Regarding Dwellings Unfit For Human

Habitation

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE TOWN BOARD OF SHOALS, INDIANA, that

Section 1:

That the Indiana legislature has addressed the subject of dwellings unfit for human habitation in I.C. 16-41-20 et. seq.

Section 2:

I.C. 16-41-20-1 declares that a dwelling is unfit for human habitation when the dwelling is dangerous or detrimental to life or health because of any of the following:

(1) Want of repair.

(2) Defects in the drainage, plumbing, lighting, ventilation, or construction.

(3) Infection with contagious disease.

(4) The existence on the premises of an unsanitary condition that is likely to cause sickness among occupants of the dwelling.

Section 3:

I.C. 16-41-20-2 declares that the inspector of buildings in a city or town may exercise all the powers granted the inspector in a city or town ordinance dealing with housing.

Section 4:

The Shoals Town Marshal is hereby appointed as the Housing Inspector for the Town of Shoals with regard to dwellings alleged to be unfit for the human habitation.

Section 5:

It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to own or habitate a dwelling within the jurisdictional limits of the Town of Shoals, Indiana, which is dangerous or detrimental to life or health because of any of the following:

(1) Want of repair.

(2) Defects in the drainage, plumbing, lighting, ventilation, or construction.

(3) Infection with contagious disease.

(4) The existence on the premises of an unsanitary condition that is likely to cause sickness among occupants of the dwelling.

Section 6:

Whenever the Housing Inspector determines that a dwelling is unfit for human habitation or a public nuisance. The Housing Inspector may issue an order requiring all persons living in the dwelling to vacate said dwelling within not less than five (5) days and not more than fifteen (15) days. Any such order to vacate a dwelling shall describe the reason or reasons for the order to vacate.

Section 7:

A dwelling declared to be unfit for human habitation may be declared to be a public nuisance. A dwelling, structure, excavation, business, pursuit, or thing in or about a dwelling or the dwelling’s lot may be ordered to be removed, abated, suspended, altered, improved or purified. This would include the plumbing, sewerage, drainage, light, or ventilation of the dwelling.

Section 8:

The Housing Inspector may order that a dwelling, excavation, building, structure, sewer, plumbing, pipe, passage, premises, ground or thing in or about a dwelling found to be unfit for human habitation to be purified, cleansed, disinfected, renewed, altered, repaired, or improved.

Section 9:

An order issued under this ordinance shall be served on the tenant and the owner of the dwelling or the owner’s rental agent. The order may be served on a person who by contract has assumed the duty of doing the things that the order specifies to be done.

Section 10:

A person aggrieved by an order of the Housing Inspector may pursue an appeal of the order through the Martin County Circuit Court under the terms of I.C. 16-41-20-9 and 10.

Section 11:

A person who:

(1) violates this chapter; or

(2) fails to comply with an order of the Housing Inspector is liable for all costs and expenses paid or incurred by the Town of Shoals in executing the order.

The Town of Shoals may proceed to enter the dwelling and abate such a nuisance, keeping an account of the expenses of the abatement, including labor and equipment expense. These expenses shall be a lien upon the real estate on which the nuisance was maintained. In the event that these expenses remain unpaid for sixty (60) days after the expenses are incurred, the Shoals Clerk-Treasurer may file a statement of the lien claimed with the Office of Recorder of Martin County. Said statement shall include a legal description of the real estate, the expenses and costs incurred and the date or dates that the nuisance was removed and abated, and a notice that the Town of Shoals claims a lien for such amount. Notice of this lien claim shall be provided to the owner of the real estate. This amount may be recovered in a civil action brought by the Town of Shoals, and the Town of Shoals is entitled to recover reasonable attorney’s fees.

Real estate subject to a lien for the abatement and removal of a nuisance pursuant to this Ordinance shall be sold for non-payment and the proceeds of that sale shall be applied to pay the outstanding charges after deducting costs, as is the case in the foreclosure of statutory liens. Such foreclosure shall be in equity and be brought in the name of the Town of Shoals.

Section 12:

Any person, firm or business organization violating any of the provisions of this Ordinance by failing, and neglecting or refusing to comply with the provisions of any notice herein provided for, or who shall resist or obstruct the performance of the provisions of this Ordinance sh-all be guilty of a municipal ordinance violation punishable by a fine not to exceed One Hundred dollars ($100.00) together with court costs thereon for each violation. A separate violation shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.

Section 13:

Enforcement of this Ordinance may be accomplished by the Town of Shoals in any manner authorized by law, and in addition, any person who by reason of another’s violation of any provision of this Ordinance, suffers special damage to himself, different from that suffered by other property owners throughout the Town of Shoals generally, may bring an action to enjoin or otherwise abate an existing violation.

Section 14:

If any provision of this Ordinance or the application thereof is held invalid, the invalidity may not affect other provisions or applications of the Ordinance which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end, the provisions of this Ordinance are declared severable.

Section 15:

This Ordinance shall be in full force and effect within thirty (30) days after its publication pursuant to Indiana law.

Passed and adopted by the Town Board of Shoals on this 9th day of November, 2020.

SHOALS TOWN BOARD

Cecil L. Ragsdale, President

Clint Hoffman, Member

Cary Albright, Member

ATTEST: Sierra Rutledge, Clerk-Treasurer    Nov. 18c

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