The City of Greensboro is committed to ensuring the health and safety of the community. Through a regular inspection process, inspectors identify homes that are in a state of disrepair, decay, or deterioration.
The City has established a Minimum Housing Standards Code to ensure that all dwellings meet minimum requirements. Regardless of whether housing is owner- or tenant-occupied, it must meet the minimum standards. The code states that structures must be maintained in a condition that makes the housing premises safe, sanitary, and fit for human habitation. The Code Compliance Office is responsible for enforcing this code.
The code specifies basic habitability standards for all dwellings, including:
If a residential structure in the city fails to meet these standards and the owner does not make the repairs in the time allowed, the case is reviewed by the Minimum Housing Standards Commission.
Complaints – To submit a complaint about possible violations of any of the above housing standards, you may:
• Call the Code Compliance Office at 336-373-2111 or the City's Contact Center at 336-373-CITY (2489)
300 W. Washington St.
Greensboro, NC 27401
Initiating an Inspection – Inspection of a dwelling can be initiated in any of several ways:
Inspection – An inspector will conduct an inspection of the property to validate the submitted complaint or petition. If the inspection reveals violations, the inspector enters the violations in the Code Compliance tracking system, along with the names of the owner(s), and/or agents, and tenants of the property. If fewer than five minor violations are found on a property, no hearing is scheduled, and a Certificate of Appreciation is issued, thanking the owner/management company for maintaining the property. If the inspection reveals no violations, then the complaint or petition is dismissed.
Emergency Cases – In emergency cases, where there is apparent immediate danger to the life, health, or safety of any person or to the safety of other property, the inspector shall issue a 48-hour Repair or Vacate Notice, if any of the following conditions exist:
If the structure is not repaired within 48 hours, the inspector shall order the structure closed for occupancy and unfit for human habitation.
Notice of Violation and Hearing – If the inspector verifies the presence of violations of a non-emergency nature, the owner is notified of the violation(s) and is summoned to appear at a public hearing before the Minimum Housing Standards Commission. The hearing is scheduled to be held not less than 10 days and not more than 30 days after the notice is served. A Notice of Hearing is issued to the owner listing the violations and a hearing date set for 15-30 days from the date of inspection. This notice is sent by certified mail.
Violation Hearing – The hearing is an opportunity for the owner to meet with the inspector and discuss the violations. Any interested party may attend the hearing, including tenants, petitioners or complainants.
Order to Repair (or Demolish) – If, at the hearing, the inspector determines the structure is unfit for human habitation, the inspector shall issue an Order to Repair, requiring the owner to correct the violations within a time frame set by the inspector (at least 30 days). If the estimated repairs to the structure exceed 50 percent of its value, the inspector will issue an Order to Repair or Demolish.
Condemnation – If, after re-inspection, the repairs required to bring the property into compliance with the Minimum Housing Code have not been completed, the inspector will send the owner a Notice of Condemnation stating that it shall be unlawful to occupy the property. The inspector will also post a Building Condemned sign at the main entrance to the structure. This sign serves as notice to any tenants of the property that they must vacate within 30 days. The owner may choose to close or secure the house after the required repairs have been made, but may not close or secure the house instead of making the required repairs. The owner may sell the property, but is required to notify the buyer about the violations, condemnation and any related information. Upon completion of the sale, the new owner (buyer) becomes responsible for making any required repairs in order to bring the property into compliance.
Demolition Hearing – If the inspector determines the owner has abandoned the intent to repair the property, the Minimum Housing Standards Commission will conduct a public hearing on the case and issue a ruling on whether the structure should be demolished. If the commission upholds the inspector’s determination, a Demolition Order and a lien against the property for the cost of closure or demolition is recorded at the Guilford County Courthouse.
Demolition – If the commission determines the structure should be demolished, the City of Greensboro will cause the structure to be demolished and collect reimbursement for demolition costs from the owner as set forth in North Carolina General Statutes.
The Code Compliance Office then awaits advisement from the City's Legal Department that closure or demolition of the property may proceed. If a house brought before the commission has been closed for over one year, then the waiting period for demolition is approximately 90 days.
The property is then inspected for asbestos. If asbestos is found, it is removed by a licensed contractor. Bids are then solicited for demolition of the structure(s) and the contract is awarded to the contractor with the lowest bid. After asbestos removal and demolition work is complete, an assessment against the property for the cost of the work done is recorded with the Collections Division of the City’s Financial and Administrative Services Department.