Property Damage Issues

Unraveling the Complexities of Condemned Houses in 2023

Ever walked past a dilapidated house in your neighborhood and wondered why no one lives there? Or perhaps you've considered buying a run-down property at a bargain price?  

If so, keep reading to learn a lot about condemned houses.  

Written by: Meridian Trust Homebuyers
Posted: 06/21/2023

Sharing is caring!

Ever walked past a dilapidated house in your neighborhood and wondered why no one lives there? Or perhaps you’ve considered buying a run-down property at a bargain price?  

If so, keep reading to learn a lot about condemned houses.  

Read more: Unraveling the Complexities of Condemned Houses in 2023

What is a Condemned House? 

A condemned house is a property that local or state government authorities have declared unfit for living. This could be due to various reasons, which we will explore in this article. 

Why are Houses Condemned? 

Structural problems, such as an unstable foundation, damaged roof, or crumbling walls, can lead to house condemnation. Health risks, like black mold growth, lead presence, or asbestos, can also trigger the condemnation process.  

If a house is left empty for a long time, several negative consequences can occur. Firstly, the condition of the house tends to worsen over time. Without regular maintenance and care, various issues such as leaks, cracks, and structural damage may arise. Without people around, problems like plumbing or electrical issues can go unnoticed and get worse. 

Furthermore, an empty house becomes an ideal breeding ground for bugs and pests. In the absence of regular cleaning and pest control measures, insects and rodents can easily infiltrate the property. They may infest the house, causing damage to furniture, walls, and other belongings. Additionally, these pests can pose health risks to anyone who enters the house, as they can carry diseases and allergens. 

Neglected properties are more susceptible to accidents and emergencies. For instance, if there is no one to address a water leak or a gas leak, it can lead to significant damage or even explosions. 

This can result in the house being condemned. 

Signs of a Condemned House 

When observing a house, there are several signs that may indicate its condemnation. Boarded-up windows serve two purposes: preventing unauthorized entry and protecting uninhabitable spaces. These windows are typically covered with plywood or other materials, giving the house a neglected and abandoned appearance. 

Another common indicator is the presence of warning signs. Local authorities or property managers use these signs to warn people about dangerous conditions in a house. They may include messages such as “Danger: Condemned Property” or “Keep Out: Unsafe Structure.”  

Overgrown plants can also be a telltale sign of a condemned home. If a property is not taken care of, weeds and tall grass can grow because it is not being maintained. This neglect further emphasizes the abandonment and deterioration of the property. 

When determining a condemned status, visible damage is another factor. This damage can manifest in various ways, such as crumbling walls, collapsed roofs, or structural instability. These visible signs of decay and disrepair indicate that the house has reached a state where it is deemed unsafe or habitable. 

However, it is essential to note that not all unoccupied or run-down properties are necessarily condemned. Some houses may be vacant due to temporary circumstances, such as renovations, relocation, or legal disputes. Additionally, properties that appear dilapidated may still be salvageable with proper repairs and renovations. 

Therefore, while boarded-up windows, warning signs, overgrown plants, and visible damage are strong indicators of a condemned house, it is crucial to exercise caution and gather more information before making any definitive conclusions.  

The Process of Condemning a House 

The process of condemning a house isn’t something that happens instantly. It typically begins with an inspection, followed by issuing an official notice. After that, there’s a period where the homeowner has the opportunity to appeal or undertake necessary repairs. 

Who Can Condemn a House? 

Usually, local government bodies are responsible for house condemnation. Housing, building, or health departments are typically responsible for these matters. 

Rights and Responsibilities of Homeowners 

If a house is condemned, the owner still owns it but can’t live there until the home is brought up to the building code. The property owner must shoulder the responsibility of repair work, settling any fines, and ensuring the house’s restoration to a habitable condition. 

The Impact of Condemnation on Property Value 

Condemnation typically leads to a significant drop in a property’s value. However, completing repairs and restoring the house to sanitary living conditions can cause the value to rise again. This is more likely if the house is situated in a highly desirable neighborhood. 

Dealing with a Condemned House 

When dealing with a condemned building, you might feel overwhelmed. You have several options, including undertaking repairs and renovations, demolishing the house, or taking a cash offer. Each path comes with its unique challenges and advantages. 

Pros and Cons of Buying a Condemned House 

The prospect of buying a condemned house might appear attractive at first glance, but it carries inherent risks. You might consider purchasing it at a low price and renovating it for profit. However, renovation costs can sometimes exceed initial estimates. 

Financing Options for Condemned Houses 

Condemned houses have various financing options, like FHA 203(k) loans and personal loans. Consulting with a financial advisor or mortgage broker to explore all possibilities is crucial. 

Regulations concerning condemned houses vary across different localities. It’s important to consult a real estate lawyer before buying or selling a condemned house to understand the laws. 

Recent Changes to Condemned House Regulations in 2023 

There have been significant amendments to the regulations governing condemned houses in 2023. It’s crucial to stay informed about these changes as they can significantly influence your decisions concerning condemned houses. 


Condemned houses can present both obstacles and opportunities. Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the landscape of the condemned house empowers you to make well-informed decisions. As they say, knowledge is indeed power! 


  • How do I determine if a house is condemned? 
    • You can usually discover if a house is condemned by checking the local building or housing department records. 
  • What consequences do I face if I disregard a condemnation notice? 
    • If you overlook a condemnation notice, you may face penalties, run into legal troubles, or even undergo forced eviction. 
  • Is residing in a condemned house permissible? 
    • Living in a condemned house is both unlawful and dangerous. 
  • What is the cost estimate for fixing a condemned house? 
    • The cost of repairing a condemned house can greatly vary depending on the damage and the prevailing local repair costs. 
  • Is it feasible to sell a condemned home? 
    • You can indeed sell a condemned house, although you’ll find the buyer market for such properties quite restricted. 

Note: This guide is for informational purposes only. Meridian Trust does not make any guarantees about the sufficiency of the content in or linked to from this blog post or that it is compliant with current law. The content within this blog post is not a substitute for legal advice or legal services. You should not rely on this information for any purpose without consulting a licensed lawyer in your area.

Get a Cash Offer on
Your House Today

Contact us to get a free, no-obligation consultation. Meridian Trust makes it easy.