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Property Maintenance Code
The International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) 2015 edition is the current code adopted by Virginia. It applies to all existing structures and all existing premises. This code delineates the minimum requirements and condition standards for premises, structures, equipment and facilities for light, ventilation, space, heating, sanitation, protection from the elements, life safety, safety from fire and other hazards, and for safe and sanitary maintenance; the responsibility of owners, operators and occupants, the occupancy of existing structures and premises, and for administration, enforcement and penalties.
Who does enforce the existing Building Maintenance Code in the City of Chesapeake?
The Department of Development & Permits, Code Compliance Division enforces the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (VUSBC) maintenance provisions that apply to existing dwellings and other buildings and structures. Enforcement of these codes are initiated by citizen concerns, area patrols and through systematic exterior neighborhood inspections.
Common Violations of the Code
- Paint peeling and flaking
- Loose and missing roof shingles
- Missing or deteriorated siding
- Sheds or fences in disrepair
- Gutters rusted or hanging loose
- Vacant, open buildings
- Street numbers not displayed
- Gas appliance red tagged by Virginia Natural Gas (VNG)
- Plumbing leaks
- Electrical system hazards
- Inoperative heating systems
- Damage from leaking roofs
- Pest infestation
- Smoke detector missing or inoperative
Whenever a determination has been made that there has been a violation of the code or there are grounds to believe that a violation has occurred, a notice of violation will be served to the occupant or the property owner to correct the violation. The compliance of code violations typically must be completed within a thirty-day time period. It is unlawful for the owner who has received a compliance order or upon whom a notice of violation has been served to sell, transfer, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of the dwelling unit or structure to another until the provisions of the compliance order or notice of violation have been complied.
What is an Unsafe Building?
An unsafe building is a structure, or part of a structure, or a premises that is a danger to public safety because of the following reasons:
Open, dilapidated and vacant buildings are posted with an Unsafe Building Placard and required to be secured. Failure to comply may result in the building being secured by the City. An unsafe building may be demolished by the City if necessary to protect the public safety. If this occurs, the property owner shall be billed for the expense of the demolition.
What should I do if I can't complete the code violation correction by the deadline?
You may request an extension. A written request of extension can be submitted with the following information:
- Property Address of Violation
- Brief explanation of extension request
- A reasonable estimated completion date
Send a written request of extension to:
Development & Permits
Code Compliance Division
P.O. Box 15225
Chesapeake, VA 23328
REQUESTS FOR AN EXTENSION
Extensions for the time allowed for correction of violations of the USBC may be granted if necessary repairs are temporarily delayed due to practical difficulties. A written request addressed to the Code Compliance Division, including the address of the property, brief explanation of why an extension is being requested and a reasonable estimated time frame for when the completion of repairs will be made must be received before the time allowed for compliance has expired.
Do I have a right to appeal?
Any person aggrieved by the application of the USBC has the right to appeal within fourteen (14) days to the Local Board of Building Code Appeals.
How do I file the application?
An applicant must complete a City of Chesapeake Board of Building Code Appeals Application, remit a twenty-five dollar fee, and submit the application to the Building Code Official.
MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENT FOR EXISTING DWELLINGS, BUILDINGS AND PROPERTIES
The following excerpts from the maintenance provisions of the USBC are not complete or intended to be all inclusive. Other code requirements may apply to a particular property.
EXTERIOR PROPERTY AREAS:
Accessory Structures: All accessory structures, including detached garages, fences and walls shall be maintained structurally in good repair.
Exterior of Structure:
Exterior Painting: All wood and metal surfaces shall be maintained in good condition. Peeling, flaking and chipped paints shall be eliminated and surfaces repainted.
Street Numbers: Each structure shall display assigned street numbers of at least 4 inches in height and 1/2 inch width.
Foundation Walls: Shall be maintained plumb and free from opened cracks and breaks.
Exterior Walls: Shall be free of holes, breaks, loose or rotting materials, and maintained weatherproof and properly surface coated where required to prevent deterioration.
Roofs and Drainage: Roof and flashing shall be sound, tight, and not have defects which admit rain.
Trim: All cornices, terra cotta trim, wall facing and similar decorative features shall be maintained in good repair.
Chimney: Shall be maintained structurally safe, sound and in good repair. Exposed surfaces of metal and wood shall be protected against the elements by surface treatment to prevent decay or rust.
Handrails and Guards: Every handrail and guard shall be firmly fastened and capable of supporting normally imposed loads and shall be maintained in good condition.
Windows and Door Frames: Shall be maintained to be weather tight.
Glazing: Al glazing material shall be maintained free of cracks and holes.
Openable Windows: Every window, other than a fixed window, shall be easily openable and capable of being held in position by window hardware.
Doors: All exterior doors and hardware shall be maintained in good condition.
Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tub Enclosures: Private pools, spas, and hot tubs must be completely surrounded by a fence or barrier at least 48 inches in height, with self-closing and self-latching gates and doors. Pools must be kept clean and sanitary.
Any questions regarding the Property Maintenance Code and/or the status of a complaint, please call 757-382-6378. To file a complaint with the City for investigation, please call 757-382-2489 (CITY).