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Buildings Unfit for Human Habitation

See also: Vacant Building Standards

What Is It?

Our Buildings Unfit for Human Habitation ordinance regulates whether a building has deteriorated so much that it is unfit for a person to live in. We consider a building to be unfit for human habitation when it has deteriorated to the point that it threatens public safety. We hold a hearing to determine whether a building is unfit, and we can order its repair or demolition. We can order an unfit building to be demolished and removed in cases of a documented extreme hazard or if the repair cost would be more than 50 percent of the cost to replace it. In other cases, we may issue an order to repair the unfit building to meet the minimum standard for human habitation.

What It Isn't

This ordinance does not cover vacant buildings that do not meet “unfit” standards. See the Vacant Building Standards page for more information.

Read the Code

Read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) section for building and construction codes relating to buildings unfit for human habitation or other use, SMC 22.208.

Proposed Changes

None

Construction and Inspections

Nathan Torgelson, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA, 98124-4019
Phone: (206) 684-8600
Phone Alt: Violation Complaint Line: (206) 615-0808
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SDCI issues land use, construction, and trade permits, conducts construction and housing-related inspections, ensures compliance with our codes, and regulates rental rules. SDCI is committed to an antiracist workplace and to addressing racism through our work in the community.