Today our topic is the differences between code enforcement in the city of Huntsville and regulatory agencies that regulate properties out in other areas of Madison County.
Here in Huntsville, we’re the county seat for all of Madison County. There are only a handful of municipalities in the county. In Huntsville, we have the city of Madison, Owens Cross Roads, New Hope, Gurley and a tiny community that’s incorporated called Triana. Most of the area outside the city of Huntsville itself is in the unincorporated area of Madison County. There, the county engineer rules. They rarely get involved in anything pertaining to rental property unless the property is having a problem with septic systems. Those are private sewer arrangements where you’re setting the fluid from a plumbing system into a tank and the water will drift into the soil.
Inside of the Huntsville city limits, the agency responsible for regulations is called Community Development. Community Development is capable of lawfully going onto your property at any time without notice and doing a survey of the exterior. Based on that inspection, you can have a write up for anything such as peeling paint or grass that has not been mowed. You’ll be required to take care of whatever was found within 30 and 90 days. Those are repairs that you must make, and if you’re slow to make them, you can be taken to court. Community Development is also tied into and assisting with the City of Huntsville police department. There are three precincts in town and they each have Community Development Officers who work with code enforcement.
Tenants can request Community Development to come at any time and look for deficiencies inside or outside the home. If any are found, you have to fix them right away. You might run the tenant off with these problems in your house, but you still are required to repair them.
Right now, there are people who want the municipality to charge you over $100 for Community Development to conduct any inspections for an apartment or a house when it’s put up for rent inside the city limits. Other communities in the area have wanted to this as well, and we’re fighting the proposition at the state and local level. It’s a burden we don’t need to have and our professional associations have been very helpful in working against this with us.
If you have any questions about code enforcement inside or outside of Huntsville, please contact us at Independence Realty, and we’ll answer any questions you have.