As part of the City of Daytona Beach's ongoing effort to improve neighborhoods and increase property values by removing blighted conditions, the city has strengthened its ability to cause the improvement or removal of deteriorated buildings through the condemnation process. The city's condemnation/demolition procedures were amended by City Ord. 17-225 (PDF) and the Board of Building Codes, which hears condemnation appeals, was reconstituted by City Ord. 18-139 (PDF) and 18-162.
Code Violations or Condemnations
Condemnation differs from code enforcement violations in the process and the standards for making the determination of violation or condemnation of the property. Condemnation is the result of a building/dwelling being deemed no longer fit for human occupancy. The citation of code violations is not a prerequisite to condemnation.
Initiation of Condemnation
The condemnation process is initiated by a complaint to the city or city staff (code officers, inspectors, etc.) reporting the property to our Neighborhood Services Department. To submit a complaint, visit the TrakIt site.
The city's Chief Building Official or the Building Rehab Inspector visits the property to determine whether the condition of the property should be addressed through the code enforcement process. If the condition of the property is so blighted that it falls under criteria of the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC), the property is designated as a "blighted property" and addressed through the condemnation process.
If the property is so deteriorated or dangerous that staff's determination is that the condemnation process is necessary to protect public health, safety and welfare, the condemnation process begins.
A property may be designated as a "blighted property" by an exterior inspection. Exterior conditions alone may provide enough information or evidence to warrant action. If a property owner responds to staff, an interior inspection is requested and, if allowed, performed but access to the interior is not needed or required for the condemnation process to start. The owner, through demonstration of a means and ability to correct the problem, may be able to demonstrate that the blighted conditions leading to the condemnation designation may be corrected.
If the property is designated as "condemned," a certified letter is sent to the property owner and, if the property is mortgaged, the mortgage holder and if needed for legally required notice, to other lien holders, etc. If staff is able to locate a telephone number and/or email address for the owner and/or mortgage holder, contact is also attempted via telephone and email as well as by certified mail. Bright orange signs are also posted on the exterior of the structure, near each entrance. In short, all avenues of contact to the owner and other holders of property interest in the property are used. Individuals, such as a squatter or holdover tenant, who not have a bona fide legal interest, are not included in the notice since they have no legally recognizable right to notice.
The appeal process allows an owner due process to refute the conclusion that demolition is necessary. A property owner may appeal staff determination, in writing or verbally. Appeals are heard by the a Board of Building Codes.
Although each property has its own unique situation and circumstance(s), the Notice and Order allows the owner/mortgage holder 20 days to appeal the determination or 30 days to demolish the property themselves or bring the property into compliance. If an appeal is not filed and the property owner fails to demolish the property or bring the property into compliance, staff begins the process of obtaining bids for demolition, asbestos surveys, purchase order approval, etc. At this point timeframes also become contingent on the availability of the demolition contractor the city uses for the service. Post demolition, a lien may be recorded to recover the city's expenses related to demolition.
Rental property If the property is a rental, any compensation for renting a structure that's unfit for habitation is a civil matter between the landlord and tenant. The city would not be involved and is not a party to the contract between the landlord and the tenant.
Information available to the public
Trakit, the city's online database of code violations, contains copies of the notices sent to the owners and/or mortgage holders and other entities with legally recognizable property interest which contains the citations to the IPMC that relate to the property and photos.
Does Condemnation mean demolition?
The main objective of the process is to get the property owner to correct the condition(s) at the property which make it unsafe and a threat to health, safety and welfare. Property owners have the ability to appeal the condemnation determination and to bring their property into compliance. Compliance is the city's goal; how it is achieved is the property owner's choice. The building department is working with numerous property owners that have received the condemnation notice as they repair their properties. Code compliance is the city's objective. Property owners through action, or lack thereof, determine the outcome.