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Ocala's guidelines on property maintenance

Like any other city throughout the state of Florida, Ocala has its share of older buildings. While many of these buildings are in great shape and are still as useful as ever, some older structures in the city have seen their better days come and go. Nothing is inherently bad about an older building, but if the property owner fails to maintain it, the building could become full of hazardous conditions.

In Ocala's residential areas, homeowners might balk at having an old and crumbling house in their neighborhood. Owners may see such properties as blight on the neighborhood and a possible threat to the value of their own home. However, buildings that are in poor condition can pose other more serious problems than just becoming an eyesore or a drag on neighborhood property values.

If a building dilapidates to the point of disrepair, or becomes a threat to the safety of others and their property, the owner could face consequences from the City of Ocala. Because houses that are structurally unsound can be so dangerous, Ocala's City Code of Ordinances requires owners of these buildings to take action.

In addition to the wear and tear that happens naturally over time, weather events like high winds and heavy rains can damage a building's structural integrity. If the owner does nothing to repair the damage, the building could eventually collapse. Furthermore, wind can cause parts of the building, like decorative exterior components, to fall or break free from the main part of the structure.

Property maintenance is important regardless of whether a building is older or newer. Ocala homeowners should follow the guidelines that the City lays out in its Residential Code. But, the same logic holds true for owners of commercial properties; they too have a responsibility to make sure that their building does not endanger other people.

Anytime a property owner fails to maintain the premises they risk violating the applicable local and state ordinances. Moreover, they could also jeopardize the health and safety of other people, which could lead to injuries and ensuing private legal action.

Source: City of Ocala, "Guidelines For Common Residential Code Violations," Accessed on Oct. 31, 2014

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