Kinder officials looking to implement maintenance code

Home Inspection – stock photoStock photo

KINDER — Officials here are looking to implement a structure maintenance code to regulate how people maintain their property.

Town attorney Michael Holmes said the guidelines would help the town clean up its streets and neaten its neighborhoods by governing upkeep of property.

“We are not trying to overburden anybody with cost,” Holmes said. “We just want them to maintain their property in a good manner for the well-being of our neighborhoods.”

The Town Council will vote on the measure June 4.

Unlike safety and health codes, regulating overgrown or blighted property, the proposed code would encourage people to maintain their property according to minimum standards set forth in the International Property Maintenance Code.

“What some properties really need is maintenance, as opposed to condemnation and tearing it down,” Holmes said.

The measure would allow the town to give property owners notice when repairs are needed, including installing doors, replacing wood on a porch or balcony, fixing broken windows or painting a structure. Unoccupied structures would need to be properly secured.

Structures that are considered unsound or in danger of collapsing would continue to adhere to condemnation procedures.

Property owners would be given notice and a time frame in which to complete repairs. If they fail to make the minimum repairs, the town could fine them or do the work itself and bill them. Unpaid bills would be placed on tax liens.

Problems with substandard properties and nuisances, including overgrown lots, have been a topic for town officials in recent years.