So What is a Condemned House?

The definition of condemned in the Marriam Webster is “Declared to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil” but it also defines it as “Officially declared to be unfit for use” in relation to homes and buildings we are going to use the later definition. 

So what does this mean? Well in this article we are going to cover all everything you need to know about a house being condemned in Florida. 

If you want to skip the entire read the short and simple of it is a house is condemned by your local government when it’s labeled as unfit to live in and hazardous. When this happens, inhabitants are forced to leave until repairs are made.


How Does a House Get Condemned?

There are a LOT of reasons a house can be condemned, it can depend on both state and local ordinances. Below are some of the most common reasons a house in Florida, specifically in the Tampa area may be condemned. 

  • Unsanitary living conditions ( Hoarder Houses, Utilities like plumbing turned off )
  • Vacant Building ( Abandoned for X amount of years and is causing safety concerns )
  • Infrastructure failure
  • Utilities have been discontinued 
  • The building is considered dilapidated 
  • Weather catastrophes have caused structural damage
  • Black mold
  • Unsecure open to transients
  • Extensive termite damage
  • Built with unsafe materials

The above reasons are typically your most common causes of home condemnation in Florida. 

Destroyed House Window

Can You  Legally Live in a Condemned House?

Typically when a house gets condemned its being lived in, with the most common situation being a hoarder or unsafe home. In a lot of these cases, the owners refuse to leave but no matter what counter or state you are in you will have serious financial consequences for staying in a condemned home. 

When a house is condemned the owner will be served papers to ensure legally they were given notice. This notice gives homeowners a chance to fix or clean up the house before officially being marked as condemned. This time can vary but typically is 30 days.  

When the property owners do not make the necessary repairs or clean up the property will be marked as condemned. This means public utilities will be cutoff like water and gas. After condemnation, you still own your property, in fact in Florida you cannot have your property taken due to Condemnation without being paid the value for the property. However, after your property is condemned you will start to accrue fines against your property for each day you stay in the property. If you do not pay these fines you will get a lean on your property, which can make it difficult to sell. In most cases when a resident decides to stay in a condemned house the house will eventually become the property of the city or the bank that has the lien on the house. 

All across Florida and Tampa area, there are cases of individuals remaining and unwilling to leave houses once condemned, below being a great example “Man living in decrepit, condemned home in Temple Terrace defies order to leave”.


What Are Florida Code Requirements for Housing?

Every county in Florida is different but Tampa, Florida has a code of Ordinance which they highlight code requirements for homes in chapter 19 – Property Maintenance and Structural Standards. If you live in another county you should look up the local ordinance to see if you violate any codes. 

Other city ordinances 

Hillsborough County Housing Code Violations
Clearwater Building Regulations

Who Has The Authority To Condemn a House?

When it comes to condemning a home your state is not the one who will start legal proceedings unless in cases of imminent domain. In most all cases it will be your local county/city that will start the process of condemning your home.


Can a Non-Damaged House Be Condemned?

Yes, the most common scenario for a perfectly good house to be condemned is in case of eminent domain. Florida requires eminent domain condemnation to be used only for true public good, and justify enough revenue for buying the land. In Florida, eminent domain cannot be used to eliminate blight, slums, or public nuisances. Florida has full compensation for this scenario and the owner will be given the value of the property and moving expenses. 

There are a few rare scenarios that do not involve eminent domain where the house is still in relatively good condition. This could include things like unsafe building materials used, propper permits not being used in the building process and unsafe building practices used. 

Destroyed Bathroom

How Do You Fix a Condemned Status Property?

When you are given official notice of your property being in a condemned state you are given time to make necessary repairs or required cleanup. During this time you can start the process of repairing and cleaning up the property and petition for more time if you can adequately show you are making progress. When the required repairs are completed the city will send out an inspector and like in many cases displayed on A&E’s Hoarders you can get the opportunity to keep living in your property.


Can You Sell a Condemned House In Florida?

In most counties, a condemned house cannot actually be sold as a structure instead it is redesigned as land. At this point, the value is far less as it can be extremely difficult to get the condemned status removed from the home and in most cases the property needs to be torn down. 

This makes getting a home mortgage loan for the property extremely difficult and why its best to go to a cash for homes company to sell your condemned property.  You will get more money out of your home and sell it much faster by reaching out to a company like Gold Leaf Home Buyers when you get your condemnation notice, this will give time for a company like ours to buy the property and make the necessary repairs before its too late.  This means more money for you and less legal repercussions you will face. 

Is your home or building condemned? We’ll pay cash, Contact Us For a Quate