Proposed: Stricter Minimum Housing Code

Revision to Charlotte’s  Minimum Housing Code Ordinance 

The City of Charlotte is proposing changes to the city’s Housing Code Ordinance. The city is citing resident complaints and poorly maintained facilities as the reason for these changes. Many members of the Charlotte City Council believe that a stronger ordinance is needed to enforce the repair of malfunctioning housing. They believe that by increasing the minimum standards, they will be protecting the quality of housing that residents receive. 

The Process

Public input meetings have been held these past weeks to get the public’s opinion and to get people talking about these possible reforms. Council Members on the City Council Neighborhood Development Committee have been considering options and advocating for changes to the ordinance. The city will be presenting information to the committee on June 19 and the City Council is expected to take these matters to a formal vote in August or September. 

Summary of the new requirements

  • Kitchen exhausts need to vent to the exterior of the building 

  • If there are moisture stains on ceilings, there needs to be established proof that the cause of the stain has been eradicated 

  • Drainage has to be put in place to effectively prevent damage or dampness inside walls and structures 

  • Roof drains, gutters and downspouts have to be well-kept, unobstructed and drain water away from the structure, without creating public nuisances 

  • Exhaust ducts for clothes dryers have to end on the outside of the building and be equipped with a back-draft damper 

  • Ducts have to be installed according to manufacturer’s instructions and all ductwork has to be properly supported. Dryers cannot be connected to other venting systems, vents or chimneys

  • Air conditioning/cooling facilities have to be properly installed, safely maintained and in good working condition

  • Water heater temperature has to be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature relief valve (TPR) and associated piping also have to be put in place

  • Flush mechanisms must be maintained 

  • Roof and flashing have to be sound, tight, and have no defects that let rain in 

  • Exterior stairways, deck porches and balconies, landings, and exits have to be maintained, structurally sound, in good repair, with proper anchorage and have to be capable of supporting imposed loads

  • There are mandatory enhanced inspections of multifamily developments if specified number of units are inspected within a specific timeframe

  • Failure to correct dangerous violations within 48 hours results in $500 fine per day until it is corrected

  • Civil penalties begin the day after noncompliance with a fine of $100 per day

  • Environmental Court convictions are Class 2 misdemeanors and can include probation or up to 30 days in jail

  • Banks have to file deeds within 60 days of foreclosing on a property

Content Authored By: Laura Comino

Additional Information

Community Engagement Sessions - Link

Proposed Changes and Provisions - Link

WFAE Article on the Proposed Changes - Link

Neighborhood Development Committee Homepage - Link

Read the Housing Ordinance (Chapter 11) - Link

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B Holladay