Real Estate Code Violations are No Laughing Matter in Sacramento: 11 Most Common Code Violations in Sacramento
If your house in Sacramento is strewn with debris and garbage, has overgrown grass or weeds, trees that are dead and or windows and doors that are not boarded up, be on the lookout for a Local Code Enforcement Officer to “Red Tag” your slice of the American Dream for clean-up.
With that citation will come a date that the work needs to be completed by and if you don’t comply the fine is only the beginning. Left undone, the City by ordinance can hire an outside contractor to complete the work and bill you. Not only that the City is not required to get three bids. They just get the job done and all at your expense.
The truth of the matter is that most houses have a code violation of one sort or another and the real question is are they individually or collectively be bad enough that a code enforcement officer will make a visit to your house. Check to see whether or not you have one or more of the 11 most common code violations in Sacramento
Non-Permitted Remodels and Additions
Building permits are a requirement in Sacramento if you want to convert a garage or patio to a bedroom, add a bathroom, add an electrical outlet, or just about any other improvement you want to do to your house. Replace your roof… get a permit. Without a permit when it comes time to sell your house the buyers may not be as comfortable with your handy work as you are and pass on the sale. As for you you my have a liability that is a ticking time bomb.
Yard/Lot Maintenance Standards
Yard/Lot Maintenance standards are the responsibility of every property owner/resident and include the maintenance of plant material in any right-of-way abutting the property. Grass type ground cover cannot be over 12 inches in height, except healthy trees, shrubs, or produce for human consumption grown in a tended and cultivated garden. Weeds, poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac must be removed. Vegetation and trees must be trimmed so as not to impair vision or obstruct the travel of motorists.
Trash, Junk and Debris
Trash, junk and debris cannot be left in the yard and must be disposed of properly. This includes junk such as auto parts, appliances, furniture, building materials and tires; trash such as paper, cardboard, plastics, etc. and debris such as tree trimmings and limbs.
Inoperable Motor Vehicles
Inoperable motor vehicles must be stored in a fully enclosed structure. A vehicle must appear to be operable and capable of being legally operated. Signs of inoperable vehicles are flat tires or missing parts. These vehicles cannot be used for storage or be stored in the yard, street or driveway.
Parking is permitted on residential lots only on a legal driveway or in a garage. A driveway or parking area must be made with approved all-weather surface material (asphalt or concrete) to meet city standards. In certain zoning situations, there are limits to the amount of yard area that can be used for a driveway or parking. Check with your local police department for more information about legally recognized parking areas.
Note: Vehicles parked in the street must be operable and may not remain parked in the same space for an extended time. These violations are handled by the Local Police Department. This is not a code violation.
Outdoor storage is prohibited on residential property. Generally, any equipment, materials, or furnishings that would ordinarily not be used outdoors may not be stored outdoors. For example, you may not keep indoor furniture, household appliances or auto parts outside. You may store building materials outside if they are neatly stacked. You may store firewood, grills, lawn furniture, hoses, tools, play equipment for children, or a lawn-mower outside.
Vacant, Unsecured Structures
The maintenance of a structure is the responsibility of the property owner. The property owner is responsible for maintaining secure windows, doors, or other openings that cannot be readily opened from the outside. An owner may need to board up a vacant structure if a break-in or fire occurs. These structures are a very real problem for neighborhoods. They have become a target for vandals, criminal activities, and a general nuisance for adjacent properties and values. If the building has deteriorated to a condition that meets the criteria of health and safety risks for the public, it can be considered for demolition.
Home occupations and cottage industries have sprung up throughout neighborhoods across the country. Some occupations are permitted by right and others are permitted by special exception. Most businesses are not allowed to operate in residential areas. Examples of illegal businesses would include auto repair and ongoing sales.
Commercial Equipment and Recreational Vehicles
Commercial equipment and commercial vehicles may not be parked in a residential area unless they are within a fully enclosed structure. It is illegal to park any vehicle not customary to residential use (such as box vans, dump trucks, semitrailers, etc.). Recreational vehicles have specific conditions for parking in residential neighborhoods.
Illegal Fencing, Screening, Walls
Fencing in a front yard may not exceed four (4) feet in height and side and backyard fencing may not exceed eight (7) feet. Your City will require a building permit to build retaining walls. Screening fences are required between residential and commercial/industrial areas in some cases.
Trees damaged or dead to the extent that a limb, tree or part could fall and pose a hazard to the public are a violation of the codes.
No matter what the code violation, most cities are going to act accordingly and once your house is tagged as a problem property, it will remain as a target for future citations. The key to solving a code violation is to communicate directly with the code enforcement officer from the beginning and fix the problem immediately. It is one thing for your property to become a problem, its worse if you become a problem as well.
My Name is Peter Westbrook and I am a local real estate investor with Westbrook REI. We buy Houses in Sacramento, Stockton and Modesto, CA We Buy Houses in their current As Is, with Code violations, and we pay cash. If you need to sell your house fast and want to eliminate the headaches of dealing with the ongoing issues of a distressed house, vacant house, bad tenants, or a house that you inherited call me at (209)481-7780.