Unsafe Living Conditions
Facts about Unsafe Living Conditions
Knowing the conditions that experts deem as unsafe in a residence can save lives and protects neighborhoods.
Unsafe living conditions that need to be reported to the property code enforcement team includes homes with maintenance issues that cause hazards such as:
Utilities or appliances that are not working properly
No hot water or no water at all
Damage to foundations, decks, stairways, joists, or other structural elements
Excessive storage inside and outside of the dwelling or on the property
Extremely unsafe living conditions in homes create serious hazards for the resident, others who enter the home, those who live in proximity of this situation, and for first responders.
The bottom line is that it is unsafe for a resident, visitors and emergency personnel when a residence:
- Have windows or exit doors that are blocked by stored items.
Excessive Collection of Items:
When parts of a home (such as the kitchens
or bathrooms) are rendered unusable by the excessive collection and retention
of materials, these conditions severely increase the potential for a fire
and are unsanitary. These situations are unsafe and are unfit to occupy.
These unsanitary conditions support an
environment for vermin, rodents and insect infestations to the occupants and
Heavy items, such as an accumulation of
newspapers, boxes, magazines, can lead to overstressing of
structural members. This condition can cause floor systems to sag,
crack and even collapse.
While Neighborhood Services staff works to
resolve excessive collection of materials as required by the Virginia Property
Maintenance Code, we team with other agencies and organizations as appropriate
to help find solutions that might benefit the occupant(s).
What is the Role of Neighborhood Services in Unsafe Living Condition Cases
Through the identification of unsafe living conditions, where residents put themselves and others at risk, Neighborhood Services staff collaborates with other County agencies to reduce risk for the occupants and others. Often this requires enforcement actions in accordance with the County adopted Property Maintenance Code.
Neighborhood Services’ enforcement actions for blighted properties, unsafe structures and structures unfit for human occupancy deals only with problems with the structure itself. For occupants who become displaced while the home is rendered safe, Neighborhood Services collaborates with other agencies who may be able to provide additional assistance and support.
For more information on what Neighborhood Services can do if you suspect an unsafe living situation in your neighborhood, call us at 703-792-7018 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.