Sell a House with Code Violations in Louisville 2023 Edition

Navigating the sale of a property is complicated enough and code violations add another layer of challenge. If you’re considering selling a Louisville house, apartment or property with code violations we can help. Call me directly at (502) 849-5950 or continue reading for more information on selling a house with code violations.

And if you’re a Louisville landlord, make sure you read up on the changes in the local codes where rental property will be inspected at randomly throughout the year even if there wasn’t a reported code violation by renters.

In this article we’ll cover:

  • Can You Sell a House with Code Violations in Louisville?
  • What are Property Code Violations?
  • Who Enforces Property Code Violations in Louisville?
  • Property Code Violations in Louisville, What is the Process?
  • Consequences of a Property Code Violation in Louisville
  • New Rental Property Inspection Laws in Louisville
  • Options to Sell a House with Code Violations

Can You Sell a House with Code Violations in Louisville?

Yes! It’s possible to sell a house with code violations in Louisville. Property violations don’t need to be resolved prior to a property changing hands but the issues become the responsibility of the new owner. In many cases, if there are outstanding fines and liens it’s typical for those to be resolved during the home sale but the property may be subject to additional fines if the code violations are not resolved.

If you’re considering selling your house with code violations get a fair offer on your property by completing the form below or keep reading to learn more about property code violations in Louisville, KY.

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What are Property Code Violations?

Simply put, it is a when a property doesn’t adhere to the standards and building codes established by the Louisville Metro Office of Code and Regulations. While there are too many regulations to list here the most common property maintenance code violations include overgrown grass and landscaping, vehicles parked in the yard and fences in disrepair. Helpful information from the Property Maintenance Division about the top standards to be aware of can be found at Property Maintenance in Louisville, KY and the full code can be found in Chapter 156 of the Louisville, KY Metro Government legislation site.

Who Enforces Property Code Violations in Louisville?

All property in Louisville, KY is subject to the local building codes and regulations and is enforced by, you guessed it, the Louisville Metro Office of Codes and Regulations. It’s essentially the laws that govern how properties are developed and maintained in Louisville, KY.  These local codes are meant to protect residents and maintain a livable standard and range from common code violations of overgrown grass to major building code violations like unsafe electrical or plumbing issue such as a faulty or overloaded electrical panel.

Property Code Violations in Louisville, What is the Process?

  1. Someone, usually a concerned citizen, registers a complaint with the Louisville Department of Codes & Regulations Property Maintenance Division.  This is really easy for neighbors who can call 3-1-1 to submit through Louisville Metro’s call center. 
  2. A city inspector will visit the property and complete an inspection to confirm the reported code violations or identify multiple code violations.
  3. If the property doesn’t meet with the current code a citation will be issued to the homeowner.
  4. The property will be continually be reinspected by a city inspector.
  5. If the code violation is not resolved the property is subject to additional escalating fines. 
  6. In severe cases when a property owner doesn’t fix code violations and Louisville Metro has to maintain the property, such as mowing or boarding the property, the property owner is responsible for fees to complete the work. 
  7. When fees and citations are not paid Louisville Metro will file a lien against the property and as a last resort will start the foreclosure process. 

Consequences of a Property Code Violation in Louisville

Maintenance violations can be costly for a property owner and in severe cases may even lead to foreclosure of the property.  In Louisville each property maintenance violation, whether it’s one or multiple code violations, is a $100 fine.  Ignoring the code violation doesn’t make the problem go away. Every time the property is inspected the fines multiply which lead to significant fines that continually add up until the issue is addressed. Check this chart from the Louisville Metro Office of Codes and Regulations out to understand how multiple fines and inspections can quickly add up to thousands of dollars. 

New Rental Property Inspection Laws in Louisville

As reported by the Courier Journal thousands of rental properties will be randomly inspected each year for code violations beginning June 2023 due to a new Louisville ordinance. 10% of rental properties will be inspected by a city inspector each year and every rental property will be inspected over a ten year period for code violations. The code violations will be public record and accessible through the Louisville Business Portal.

Options to Sell a House with Code Violations

There’s really only two options to consider if you’re trying to sell a house with code violations. Either fix the issues yourself or pass them to the buyer.

1. Fix the Code Violations Yourself

The easiest way to resolve is to simply fix code violations the inspector identified and pay the fine. Louisville provides an online resource to view and pay fines that can be found at their Louisville Metro Business Portal. If you need help accessing the portal the city has provided this step-by-step guide for creating an account.  A violation code officer will reinspect the property to confirm the local codes have been met.

You do have the right to appeal the decision but there’s still a chance you’ll still have to fix code violations and pay the fine. In most cases you need to appeal the fine within 7 days of your receipt of the notice. 

2. Sell Home AS IS with Code Violations

Another option is to sell the house and move on from owning a property with fines and maintenance issues. However, be aware that you’ll likely have to disclose code violations when you sell which may limit potential buyers especially if they require major repairs. If you’re going to sell the property with code violations consider the following.

Considerations When Selling with a Real Estate Agent

  • For most buyers, code violations are seen a red-flag and interested parties are likely to hire a home inspector to search for other issues and potential code violations. If the buyer is represented by an experience real estate agent they’re likely to request repairs as a condition of purchasing the property.
  • Even if you’re able to find a buyer who’s willing to take on the repairs, mortgage lenders may be unwilling to underwrite a loan on a property with major code violations and you may be limited to a cash buyer and sell as is.
  • Selling the traditional way through a real estate agent you’ll take home less than the asking price. In this type of home sale it’s customary for the seller to pay real estate agent commissions and their portion of closing costs.
  • Sale of the property is likely to take months between the showings, negotiations, inspection period, title searches and depending on the buyers financial situation the time to underwrite the mortgage.

Considerations When Selling to a Cash Buyer / Real Estate Investor

  • Cash buyers are often seasoned real estate investors who have the experience to handle most code violations when they buy houses. Major repairs like structural damage, electrical issues, removing asbestos that would scare most buyers away are not a big concern for a real estate investor.
  • You can expect a cash offer to sell the house in as is condition. Since the real estate investor is buying with cash it’s common to sell the home with code violations much faster (1-2 weeks) than the traditional way (1-2 months).

If you need advice or help selling your house with code violations we would be glad to share our expertise with you. Just give us a call or text us at (502) 849-5950 and we will help you through it.

Hi, I’m Nyx Sherwin owner of We Buy 502. We’re a small, family-owned business located in Louisville, KY and we’ve also called Lexington and Bowling Green home.

We know selling a property can be a long and tiresome process. From repairs, to showings, negotiations and the waiting game to close. We believe there’s a better way to sell real estate that most don’t consider.  

Our process is straightforward and simple. Learn more about it here.

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