CHAPTER 153

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 123

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 AND HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE BY ADOPTING A HOUSING CODE FOR THE STATE OF DELAWARE, INCLUDING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MINIMUM PROPERTY MAINTENANCE STANDARDS FOR DWELLING STRUCTURES THAT POSE A THREAT TO THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF THE PEOPLE OF EACH COMMUNITY IN THE STATE, PROVISIONS FOR ADOPTION OF SUCH STANDARDS BY EACH COMMUNITY IN THE STATE, WITH CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR SPECIAL CONDITIONS AND FOR HARDSHIPS, AND ENFORCEMENT OF SUCH STANDARDS BY EACH COMMUNITY IN THE STATE OR BY THE STATE IN THE ABSENCE OF LOCAL ENFORCEMENT.

WHEREAS, in the State of Delaware there are more than 16,000 dwelling structures that are dilapidated, unsafe, unsanitary, or otherwise substandard as to constitute a potential menace to the health, safety and general welfare of the people of the State of Delaware; and

WHEREAS, the General Assembly mandated the preparation of the establishment of minimum property maintenance standards for the entire state as provided in Chapter 40, Title 31, Delaware Code; and

WHEREAS, it is the concept of the housing code to protect the general welfare of all the inhabitants of the state by promoting decent, safe and sanitary living conditions; and

WHEREAS, a number of communities within the State have requested that a State housing code be adopted by the General Assembly; and

WHEREAS, several communities are now considering adoption of local housing codes, subject to charter revisions by the General Assembly, and those communities desire uniform standards for minimum property maintenance in order that enforcement can be shared among two or more communities; and

WHEREAS, it is not the intent of this Act to displace persons, invade the privacy of persons or cause undue hardships for owners and occupants of housing units that do not pose an imminent threat to the health, safety and general welfare of the people of the State of Delaware; and

WHEREAS, it is the intent of this Act to supplement and support local housing, building and development standards; and

WHEREAS, it is also the intent of this Act, wherever possible, to encourage the adoption and enforcement of minimum property maintenance standards at the local government level; and

WHEREAS, it is the intent of the General Assembly of the State of Delaware that the Housing Code and minimum property maintenance standards created by this Act for the State shall include the whole area within the confines of the State except as exempted herein as hereinafter set forth.

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Title 31 of the Delaware Code is amended by adding thereto Chapter 41 to read as follows: "CHAPTER 41. DELAWARE STATE HOUSING CODE

SUBCHAPTER I. APPLICABILITY AND ADOPTION

§4101. Title and Scope

This Chapter shall be known as the Delaware State Housing Code which establishes minimum property maintenance standards for structures covered by this Chapter and is herein sometimes referred to as the 'State Housing Code' or 'Code' and shall apply to and include the entire State of Delaware except as may be exempted by this Chapter.

§4102. Purpose

This Chapter is intended to protect the public safety, health, and welfare in existing residential structures, and on existing residential premises, as hereinafter provided by:

(a) Establishing minimum maintenance standards for existing residential structures and premises for basic equipment and facilities for light, ventilation, heat and sanitation; for safety from fire; for space; and for safe and sanitary maintenance of existing structures and premises;

(b) Fixing the responsibilities of owners, operators and occupants of all structures; and

(c) Providing for administration, enforcement and penalties.

§4103. Applicability

The provisions of the State Housing Code shall apply to existing residential structures used for human habitation. The provisions are designed to: eliminate or prevent substandard conditions with respect to structures; protect against fire hazards; provide for adequate space for light and air; provide for proper heating and ventilating and eliminate unsanitary conditions, and overcrowding. Every portion of a building or premises used or intended to be used for residential purposes shall comply with the provisions of this Chapter, except hotels and motels serving transient guests only, migratory labor housing, rest homes, convalescent homes, nursing homes, recreational campers and Civil Defense Shelters. For the purpose of this Chapter, regulations by the State Department of Health and Social Services for Migratory Labor Camps will apply to migrant housing.

§4104. Liberal Interpretation

The provisions of the entire Chapter shall be liberally interpreted so as to minimize displacement of persons whose dwelling units may deviate from this Chapter's specifications but do not pose an imminent threat to the health, safety and general welfare of the occupants and other persons. Additionally, this Chapter is to be liberally interpreted so as to minimize hardships to persons that inhabit or own dwelling units which deviate from this Chapter's specifications but do not pose an imminent threat to the health, safety and general welfare of the occupants and other persons.

§4105. Exemptions

This Chapter does not replace or modify requirements otherwise established for the construction, repair, alteration or use of buildings and facilities related thereto.

Nothing in this Chapter shall be deemed to abolish or impair existing rights or remedies of a county or municipality or its officers or agencies relating to the removal or demolition of any buildings which are deemed to be unsafe or unsanitary.

As determined by the code official in any case, where a provision of any other ordinance, regulation, or statute of the State, county or municipality existing on the effective date of this Chapter or hereafter enacted establishes a lower standard for the promotion and protection of the safety and health of the public, the provisions of this Chapter shall govern. This State Housing Code shall not be administered in any community that has adopted a housing code containing provisions that contain standards that are equal to or exceed, the provisions of this Chapter. The provisions of the State Housing Code shall not apply to any existing single family owner occupied residential structure. The provisions shall become applicable upon the rental or sale of such residential structure. The provisions of the State Housing Code shall not apply to any existing resort residential structure held primarily for the production of income and which is offered for seasonal rental for the months of May through September inclusive.

(1) Hardship

When the literal application of the requirements of this Chapter would cause undue hardships or the displacement of low income occupants with no affordable housing alternatives, an exception may be granted by the appropriate appeals board upon written petition under Section 4132 (4). Such petition shall state the reason therefore. Such exceptions shall be made in writing. In such cases where it is necessary to make safe an unsafe structure or correct an unhealthy condition every effort shall be made to make the necessary corrections without causing undue hardship to the occupant or owner and without causing the displacement of said persons.

(2) Special Conditions

When unusual building conditions or building sites exist an exception may be granted by the code official upon written petition. Such petition shall state what these special conditions are and such exceptions shall be made in writing and only when it is clearly evident that reasonable safe and sanitary conditions are assured and such exceptions shall be conditioned in such a manner to achieve those ends.

§4106. Definitions

(a) Words used in the present tense include the future; the singular includes the plural and the plural includes the singular. Unless otherwise expressly stated, where terms are not defined under the provisions of this Chapter, they shall have ascribed to them their ordinarily accepted meanings or such as the context herein may imply. Whenever the words 'multi- family dwelling. 'residence building,' 'dwelling unit,' 'mobile home' or 'premises' are used in this Chapter, they shall be construed as though they were followed by the words, 'or any part thereof.'

(b) The following terms are defined as listed below:

(1) Approved: Approved, as applied to a material, device, or method of construction, shall mean approved by the code official under the provisions of this Chapter or approved by other authority designated by law to give approval in the matter in question.

(1) Basement: That portion of a building which is partly below and partly above grade, and having at least one-half its height above grade (see 'Cellar').

(1) Cellar: That portion of a building which is partly or completely below grade, and having at least one-half its height below grade (see 'Basement').

(1) Central heating: The heating system permanently installed and adjusted so as to provide the distribution of heat to all habitable rooms, bathrooms and water closet compartments from a source outside of these rooms.

(1) Code official: The official who is charged with the administration and enforcement of this Chapter, or any duly authorized representative. For the State of Delaware the code official shall be the Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs, or any duly authorized

representative.

(1) Condemn: To adjudge unfit for residential use or human occupancy.

(1) Condemnation: The act of judicially condemning.

(1) Community: Any municipality or county in the State of Delaware.

(1) Dwellings: One- family dwelling: A building containing one dwelling unit with not more than five lodgers or boarders.

Two-family dwelling: A building containing two dwelling units with not more than five lodgers or boarders per family.

Multi- family apartment house: A building or portion thereof containing more than two dwelling units and not classified as a one or two-family dwelling.

Boarding house, lodging house and tourist house: A building arranged or used for lodging, with or without meals, for compensation, by more than five and not more than twenty individuals.

Dormitory: A space in a building where group sleeping accommodations are provided in one room, or in a series of closely associated rooms for persons not members of the same family group.

Hotel: Any building containing six or more guest rooms intended or designed to be used, or which are used, rented or hired out to be occupied, or which are occupied for sleeping purposes by guests.

Mobile home: A one- family dwelling designed for transportation after fabrication or streets and highways on its own wheels or supported by other vehicles or trailers but which not self-propelled, and arriving at the site where it is to be occupied complete and ready for occupancy, except for minor and incidental unpacking and assembly operations, supported a jacks or other foundations and connected to utilities and the like.

(1) Dwelling unit: A single unit providing complete, independent living facilities for one c more persons, including a mobile home, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.

(11) Enforcement officer: The official designated herein or otherwise charged with the responsibilities of administering this Chapter, or the official's authorized representative.

(12) Exterior property areas: The open space on the premises and on adjoining proper under the control of owners or operators of such premises.

(13) Extermination: The control and elimination of insects, rats or other pests eliminating their harborage places; by removing or making inaccessible materials that or serve as their food; by poison spraying, fumigating, trapping, or by any other approved pest elimination methods.

(14) (14) Family: An individual or married couple and the children thereof with not more than two other persons, living together as a single housekeeping unit in a dwelling unit.

(15) Garbage: The animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.

(16) Habitable space: Space in a structure for living, sleeping, eating, or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet compartments, closets, halls, storage or utility space, and similar areas are not considered habitable space.

(17) Hotel: See Dwellings.

(18) Infestation: The presence, within or contiguous to a structure or premises, of insects, rats, vermin or other pests.

(19) Junk vehicle: Any vehicle which is without a currently valid license plate or plates and is in either a rusted, wrecked, discharged, dismantled, partly dismantled, inoperative or abandoned condition. A junk vehicle shall be classified as to its condition in one of the two following categories:

a. Restorable: A junk vehicle that is in a condition whereby repairs to same could be made to place it in operating condition without exceeding the estimated value when repaired.

b. Wreck: A junk vehicle in such condition that it is economically unsound to restore same to operating condition considering the repairs to be made, age of the vehicle, market value of the vehicle if it were restored or in such condition that it warrants such classification.

(20) Let for occupancy or let: To permit possession or occupancy of a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, building or structure by a person who shall be legal owner or not be the legal owner of record thereof, pursuant to a written or unwritten lease, agreement or license, or pursuant to a recorded or unrecorded agreement of contract for the sale of land.

(21) Maintenance: Conformance of a building and its facilities to the code under which the -building was constructed.

(22) Motel: A hotel as defined in this Chapter.

(23) Multi-family (multiple) dwellings: See Dwellings.

(24) Occupant: Any person over one year of age (including owner or operator) living and sleeping in a dwelling unit or having actual possession of said dwelling or rooming unit.

(25) Openable area: That part of a window or door which is available for unobstructed ventilation and which opens directly to the outdoors.

(26) Operator: Any person who has charge, care or control of a structure or premises which are let or offered for occupancy.

(27) Overcrowded: A dwelling shall be overcrowded when its occupancy exceeds the maximum number of persons permitted in Section 4115, Subsections (11), (12), and (17).

(28) Owner: Any person, firm, or corporation having a legal or equitable interest in the premises, or any agent thereof.

(29) Person: Any individual, corporation or partnership.

(30) Plumbing: The labor, materials, and fixtures used in the installation, maintenance, extension and alteration of all piping, fixtures, appliances and appurtenances.

(31) Plumbing fixture: A receptacle or device which is either permanently or temporarily connected to the water distribution system of the premises, and demands a supply of water therefrom; or discharges used water, liquid borne waste materials, or sewage either directly o indirectly to the drainage system of the premises; or which requires both a water supply connection and a discharge to the drainage system of the premises.

(32) Premises: A lot, plot or parcel of land including the buildings or structures thereon.

(33) Public nuisance: Includes the following:

a. The physical condition, or use of any premises regarded as a public nuisance common law; or

b. Any physical condition, use or occupancy of any premises or its app considered an attractive nuisance to children, including, but not limited to, wells, shafts, basements, excavations and unsafe fences or structures; or

c. Any premises designated as having unsanitary sewerage or plumbing facility

d. Any premises designated as unsafe for human habitation or use; or

e. Any premises which are manifestly capable of being a fire hazard manifestly unsafe or unsecure so as to endanger life, limb or property; or

f. Any premises from which the plumbing, heating or other facilities required by this Chapter have been removed, or from which utilities such as water, sewer, gas and electricity have been disconnected, destroyed, removed or rendered ineffective required precautions against trespassers have not been provided; or

g. Any premises which are unsanitary, or which are littered with rubbish or which have an uncontrolled growth of weeds; or

h. Any structure or building that is in an advanced state of dilapidation, de or decay; faulty construction; overcrowded; open, vacant or abandoned; damaged by fire to the extent as not to provide adequate shelter, in danger of collapse or structural failure and is dangerous to anyone on or near the premises.

(34) Renovation: Work on a building and its facilities to make it to conform to minimum standards of sanitation, fire and life safety.

(35) Residence building: A building in which sleeping accommodations, toilet, 1 cooking facilities as a unit are provided.

(36) Rooming house: Any residence building, or any part thereof, containing o rooming units, in which space is let by the owner or operator to more than five perm not members of the family (see Dwellings, boarding house).

(37) Rooming unit: Any room or group of rooms forming a single habitable u intended to be used for living and sleeping, but not for cooking or eating purposes.

(38) Rubbish: Combustible and noncombustible waste materials, except garbage and the term shall include the residue from the burning of wood, coal, coke and other c materials, paper, rags, cartons, boxes, wood, excelsior, rubber, leather, tree bra' trimmings, tin cans, metals, mineral matter, glass, crockery and dust and oil materials.

(39) Secretary: The Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs.

(40) Structure: That which is built or constructed, including without limitation enumeration, buildings for any occupancy or use whatsoever, fences, signs, bill escapes, chute escapes, railings, water tanks, towers, open grade steps, sidewalks cm tents or anything erected and framed to component parts which is fastened, anchored or rests on a permanent foundation or on the ground.

(41) Supplied: Installed, furnished or provided by the owner or operator.

(42) Ventilation: The process of supplying and removing air by natural or mechanical means to or from any space.

a. Mechanical: Ventilation by power- driven devices.

b. Natural: Ventilation by opening to outer air through windows, skylights, doors, louvers, or stacks without wind- driven devices.

(43) Workmanlike: Whenever the words 'workmanlike state of maintenance and used in this Chapter, they shall mean that such maintenance and repair shall be reasonably skillful manner.

(44) Yard: An open unoccupied space on the same lot with a building extending entire length of street, or rear or interior lot line.

§4107. Adoption by reference

Any community in Delaware may adopt the State Housing Code as its own municipal or county housing code by reference to this Title and Chapter of the Delaware Code.

§4108. Enforcement Authority

It shall be the duty and responsibility of each community to enforce the provisions of the State Housing Code throughout the confines of that municipality or county.

§4109. Enforcement by State or Community

In the event that after three years subsequent to the adoption of the State Housing Code by the General Assembly a community has not undertaken to enforce the provisions of this Chapter, the Secretary, acting as the code official may begin enforcement within that community, subject to the provisions of this Chapter. Any community may contract with another community to act on its behalf in the enforcement of this Chapter.

§4110. Coordination of enforcement

Inspection of premises and the issuing of orders in connection therewith under the provisions of this Chapter shall be the exclusive responsibility of the code official. When, in the opinion of the code official, it is necessary or desirable to have inspections of any conditions by any other community or state agency, the code official shall arrange for this to be done in such a manner that the owners or occupants of the dwelling shall not be subjected to visits by numerous inspectors nor to multiple or conflicting orders. No order for correction of any violation under this section, when coordination of enforcement is required, shall be issued without the approval of the code official and, before issuing any such order, the code official shall obtain the concurrence of any other department or agency having jurisdiction thereover.

SUBCHAPTER U. MINIMUM CONDITIONS OF PREMISES AND BUILDINGS

§4111. -General

The provisions of this Subchapter shall describe the minimum conditions of residential premises and buildings to be used for human occupancy. Every residential building or structure occupied by humans, except as exempted by Sections 4103 and 4105 and its premises shall comply with the conditions and standards herein prescribed when a deviation from such conditions and standards poses an imminent threat to the health, safety and general welfare of the occupants and other persons. The code official may cause periodic inspections to be made of residential buildings and premises to secure compliance with these requirements.

§4112. Premises conditions

(1) Responsibility: The owner of buildings and premises shall maintain such buildings and premises in compliance with these requirements. A person shall not occupy as owner-occupant or let to another for occupancy or use premises which do not comply with the following requirements of this Section.

(2) Vacant structures and land: All vacant structures and premises thereof or vacant land shall be maintained in a clean, safe, secure, and sanitary condition as provided herein so as not to cause blight or adversely affect the public health or safety.

(3) Sanitation: All premises shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition free from any accumulation of rubbish or garbage.

(4) Containers: Garbage, vegetable wastes, or other putrescible materials shall be stored in leakproof containers, provided with close-fitting covers, for the storage of such materials until removed from the premises for disposal.

(5) Grading and drainage: All premises shall be graded and maintained so as to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water thereon, or within any structure located thereon.

(6) Insect and rat control: All premises shall remain free of insects, rats, vermin, or other pest in all exterior areas of the premises. An owner shall be responsible for extermination, except that the occupant shall be responsible for such extermination in the exterior areas of the premises of single- family dwelling. Extermination in the shared or public parts of the premises of other than single-family dwelling shall be the responsibility of the owner.

(8) Noxious weeds: All premises in predominately residential areas shall be kept free from weeds or plant growth which are noxious or detrimental to the public health and welfare and shall I trimmed to a height of not more than 12 inches.

(9) Exhaust vents: Except as to previously existing and operating exhaust systems, no person shall construct, maintain, or operate pipes, ducts, conductors, fans, or blowers discharging gases, steam, vapor, hot air, grease, smoke, odors or other gaseous or particulate wastes so as to discharge directly upon abutting or adjacent public or private property, or property of another tenant.

(10) Accessory structures: All accessory structures, including detached garages walls, shall be maintained structurally sound and in compliance with Sections 411 3 an

(11) Motor vehicles: All premises, except as provided in other regulations, shall unregistered or uninspected or junk vehicle that poses a threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the occupants or other persons. Not more than two currently unregistered vehicles, owned by the occupants, that do not pose a threat to the occupants or other and safety shall be parked in a predominantly residential area. Said vehicles shall of disassembly or disrepair.

§4113. Exterior structure

(1) General: The exterior of a structure shall be maintained structurally sound as not to pose a threat to the health and safety of the occupants and so as to protect from the environment.

(2) Structural members: All supporting structural members of all structures shall be structurally sound, free of deterioration and capable of safely bearing the dear imposed upon them.

(3) Exterior surfaces (foundations, walls and roof): Every foundation, exterior wall, roof, and all other exterior surfaces shall be maintained in a workmanlike state of maintenance shall be kept in such condition so as to exclude rats.

(4) Foundation walls: All foundation walls shall be maintained so as to carry that operating dead and live loads, plumb and free from open cracks and breaks, except release excessive water pressure on the wall so as not to be detrimental to public safety and welfare.

(5) Exterior walls: Every exterior wall shall be free of holes, breaks, loose or t timbers, and any other condition which might admit rain or dampness to the interior walls or to the occupied spaces of the building. All exterior surface materials, composition, or metal siding, shall be maintained weatherproof so as to prevent deterioration.

(6) Roofs: The roof shall be structurally sound, tight, and not have defects which might admit rain, and roof drainage shall be adequate to prevent rain water from causing damp or interior portion of the building.

(7) Decorative features: All cornices, trim, wall facings and similar decoration be maintained in good repair with proper anchorage and in a safe condition.

(8) Signs, marquees, and awnings: All canopies, marquees, signs, metal awnings, escapes, standpipes, exhaust ducts and similar overhang extensions shall be maintained in good repair, shall be properly anchored so as to be kept in a safe and sound condition protected from the elements and against decay.

(9) Chimneys: All chimneys, cooling towers, smokestacks, and similar appurtenances shall be maintained structurally safe, sound, and in good repair. All exposed surfaces of metal be protected from the elements and against decay.

(10) Stairs and porches: Every stair, porch, balcony, and all appurtenances a shall be so maintained as to be safe to use and capable of supporting the loads to subjected and shall be maintained in sound condition and repair.

(11) Window and door frames: Every window, door, and frame shall be maintained in such relation to the adjacent wall construction so as to exclude rain as completely as substantially exclude wind from entering the building.

(12) Weathertight: Every window and exterior door shall be fitted reasonably in its frame and be weathertight. Weather stripping shall be used as necessary to exclude wind or rain from entering the dwelling or structure and shall be kept in sound condition and good repair.

(13) Glazing: Every required window sash shall be fully supplied with glazing securely hold in place window glass.

(14) Openable windows: Every window, other than a fixed window, shall be c opened and shall be held in position by window hardware.

(15) Door hardware: Every exterior door, door hinge, and door latch shall be maintained in good condition. Door locks in dwelling units shall be in good repair and capable of tightly securing the door.

(16) Basement and window hatchways: Every basement or cellar hatchway or window shall be so maintained as to prevent the entrance of rats, rain, and surface drainage into the structure.

§4114. Interior structure

(1) General: The interior of a structure and its equipment shall be maintained structurally sound and in a sanitary condition so as not to pose a threat to the health and safety of the occupants, and to protect the occupants from the environment.

(1) Structural members: The supporting structural members of every building shall be maintained structurally sound, not showing any evidence of deterioration which would render them incapable of carrying the imposed loads.

(1) Interior surfaces: Floors, walls, including windows and doors, ceilings, and other interior surfaces shall be maintained in good, clean, and sanitary condition.

(1) Lead based paint: Lead based paint with a lead content of more than 0.5 percent shall not be applied to any interior or exterior surface of a dwelling or dwelling unit, including fences and outbuildings upon any premises.

(1) Bathroom and kitchen floors: Every toilet, bathroom and kitchen floor surface shall be constructed and maintained so as to permit such floor to be easily kept in a clean and sanitary condition.

(1) Free from dampness: Cellars, basements and crawl spaces shall be maintained free from standing water so as to prevent conditions conducive to decay or deterioration of the structure.

(1) Sanitation: The interior of every structure shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition free from any accumulation of rubbish, refuse or garbage. Rubbish, garbage, and other refuse shall be properly kept inside temporary storage facilities.

(1) Storage: Garbage or refuse shall not be allowed to accumulate or be stored in public halls or stairways.

(1) Insect and rat harborage: All structures shall be kept free from insect and rat infestation, and where insects or rats are found, they shall be promptly exterminated by acceptable processes which will not be injurious to human health. After extermination, proper precautions shall be taken to prevent reinfestation.

(1) Exit doors: Every door available as an exit shall be capable of being opened easily from the inside.

(ll) Stairs, porches and railings: Stairs, porches, railings, and other exit facilities shall b adequate for safety.

(12) Exit facilities: All interior stairs and railings and other exit facilities of every structure shall be maintained in sound condition and good repair by replacing treads and risers that evidence excessive wear or are broken, warped or loose. Every inside stair shall be so constructed are maintained as to be safe to use and capable of supporting the anticipated loads.

§4115. Light, ventilation, and space requirements

(1) General: All spaces or rooms shall be provided sufficient light so as not to endanger heal and safety. All spaces or rooms shall be provided sufficient natural or mechanical ventilation so not to endanger health and safety. Where mechanical ventilation is provided in lieu of the natural ventilation, such mechanical ventilating system shall be maintained in operation during t occupancy of any structure or portion thereof.

(2) Light in habitable rooms: Every habitable room, except kitchens, toilet rooms, basement cellar rooms, and interior rooms of townhouses and row houses shall have at least one window facing directly to the outdoors, a court or a porch. Every habitable room, except kitchens and toilet rooms, shall have at least one door or window which can be opened to adequately ventilate room. Kitchens, toilet rooms without windows, basement or cellar rooms, and interior rooms townhouses and row houses shall have natural or mechanical ventilation.

(3) Common halls and stairways: Every common hall and stairway in every building, other t one- family dwellings, shall be adequately lighted at all times with an illumination of at least a watt light bulb. Such illumination shall be provided throughout the normally traveled stairs passageways.

(4) Other spaces: All other spaces shall be provided with natural or artificial light of sufficient intensity and so distributed as to permit the maintenance of sanitary condition, and the safe use of the space and the appliances, and fixtures.

(5) Toilet rooms: Every bathroom and water closet compartment shall comply with the light and ventilation requirements for habitable rooms as required by Section 4115 (2) except that a window shall not be required in bathrooms or water closet compartments equipped with an approved mechanical ventilation system.

(6) Cooking: Primary cooking facilities shall not be permitted in any sleeping room or dormitory unit, except for efficiency apartments.

(7) Separation of unit: Dwelling units shall be separate and apart from each other. With the exception of cribrooms or rooms accommodating handicapped individuals, sleeping rooms shall not be used as the only means of access to other sleeping rooms.

(8) Privacy: Hotel units, lodging units, and dormitory units shall be designed to provide privacy and be separate from other adjoining spaces.

(9) Common access: A habitable room, bathroom, or water closet compartment which is accessory to a dwelling unit shall not open directly into or be used in conjunction with a food store, barber or beauty shop, doctor's or dentist's examination or treatment room, or similar room used for public purposes.

(10) Basement rooms and cellar rooms: Basement and cellar rooms partially below grade shall not be used for sleeping purposes unless the basement and cellar room (or rooms) is (are) within the specifications for sleeping rooms as provided for in this Chapter.

(ll) Dwelling units: Every dwelling unit shall contain a minimum gross floor area of not less than 150 square feet for the first occupant, and 100 square feet for each additional occupant. The floor area shall be calculated on the basis of the total area of all habitable rooms.

(12) Area for sleeping purposes: Every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one occupant shall contain at least 64 square feet of floor area.

(13) Overcrowding: If any room used for residential purposes is overcrowded as defined in Section 4106 (27), the code official may order the number of persons sleeping or living in said room to be reduced.

(14) Prohibited use: It shall be prohibited to use for sleeping purposes any kitchen, nonhabitable space, or public space.

(15) Minimum ceiling heights: Habitable rooms shall have a clear ceiling height over the minimum area required by this Chapter at not less than 7 feet, 4 inches, except that in attics, basements, or top half- stories the ceiling height shall be not less than 7 feet over not less than one- third of the minimum area required by this Chapter when used for sleeping, study or similar activity. In calculating the floor area of such rooms, only those portions of the floor area of the room having a clear ceiling height of 5 feet or more may be included.

(16) Minimum ceiling heights in mobile homes: Habitable space in a mobile home shall have a minimum ceiling height of 7 feet over fifty percent of the floor area, and the floor area where the ceiling height is less than five feet shall not be considered in calculating floor area.

(17) Required space in mobile homes: Every mobile home shall contain a minimum gross floor area of not less than 150 square feet for the first two occupants, and 100 square feet for each additional occupant.

§4116. Plumbing facilities and fixtures requirements

(1) General: Every dwelling unit shall include its own plumbing facilities which are in proper operating condition, can be used in privacy, and are adequate for personal cleanliness and the disposal of human waste.

(2) Water closet and lavatory: Every dwelling unit shall contain a lavatory and a water closet supplied with cold running water. The water closet shall not be located in a habitable room. The lavatory may be placed in the same room as the water closet, or, if located in another room, the lavatory shall be located in close proximity to the door leading directly into the room in which said water closet is located. The lavatory shall be supplied with hot and cold running water.

(3) Bathtub or shower: Every dwelling unit shall contain a room which affords privacy to a person in said room and which is equipped with a bathtub or shower supplied with hot and cold running water.

(4) Sink: Every dwelling unit shall contain a kitchen sink apart from the lavatory required under Section 4116(2) and shall be supplied with hot and cold running water.

(1) Rooming house: At least one water closet, lavatory basin and bathtub or shower properly connected to an approved water and sewer system and in good working condition shall be supplied for each four rooms within a rooming house, wherever said facilities are shared. Every lavatory basin and bathtub or shower shall be supplied with hot and cold water at all times.

(1) Hotels: Where private water closets, lavatories, and baths are not provided, one water closet, one lavatory and one bathtub accessible from a public hallway shall be provided on each floor. Each lavatory, bathtub or shower shall be supplied with hot and cold water at all times.

(1) Privacy: Toilet rooms and bathrooms shall be designed and arranged to provide privacy.

(1) Direct access: Toilet rooms and bathrooms shall not be used as a passageway to a hall or other space, or to the -exterior. At least one toilet room or bathroom in a dwelling unit shall be accessible from any sleeping room without passing through another sleeping room.

(1) Same story: Toilet rooms and bathrooms serving hotel units, lodging units, or dormitory units, unless located within such respective units, or directly connected thereto, shall be provided on the same story with such units, and be accessible only from a common hall or passageway.

(1) Floors: Bathrooms and toilet rooms shall be provided with floors of moisture resistant material.

(1) Connections: Water supply lines, plumbing fixtures, vents and drains shall be properly installed, connected and maintained in working order and shall be kept free from obstructions, leaks and defects and capable of performing the function for which they are designed.

(1) Maintained clean and sanitary: All plumbing facilities shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition by the occupant so as not to breed insects and rats or produce dangerous or offensive gases or odors.

(1) Access for cleaning: Plumbing fixtures shall be installed so as to permit easy access km cleaning both the fixtures and the areas about them.

(1) Water conservation: Plumbing fixtures which are replaced shall be of water saving construction and use.

(1) Contamination: The water supply shall be maintained free from contamination and a water inlets for plumbing fixtures shall be located above the overflow rim of the fixture.

(1) Supply: The water supply systems shall be installed and maintained to provide at all times supply of water to plumbing fixtures, devices, and appurtenances in sufficient volume and pressures adequate to enable them to function satisfactorily.

(1) Water heating facilities: Water heating facilities shall be properly installed, properly maintained and properly connected with hot water lines to the fixtures required to be supplied w the hot water. Water heating facilities shall be capable of heating water to such a temperature as to permit an adequate amount of water to be drawn at every required kitchen sink, lavatory basin, bathtub, shower and laundry facility or other similar units, at a temperature of not less t ll0 degrees F.

(1) Connections: Every sink, lavatory, bathtub or shower, drinking fountain, water close other facility shall be properly connected to either a public sewer system or to an approved private, sewage disposal system.

(1) Maintenance: Every plumbing stack, waste and sewer line shall be so installed maintained as to function properly and shall be kept free from obstructions, leaks and defects prevent structural deterioration or health hazards.

(1) Storm drainage: An approved system of storm water disposal shall be provided maintained for the safe and efficient drainage of roofs and paved areas, yards and courts, and open areas on the premises.

§4117. Heating, cooking and refrigeration

(1) Heating: Every dwelling unit and guest room shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a room temperature of 65 degrees F., at a point 3 feet above the floor and from an exterior wall in all habitable rooms, bathrooms and toilet rooms.

(2) Cooking facilities: In every dwelling unit that contains cooking and baking facial purpose of preparation of food, such facilities shall be properly installed by the owner and kept in a clean and sanitary working condition by the occupant.

(3) Refrigeration: In every dwelling unit that contains a refrigeration unit for the I preservation of perishable foods, such unit shall be capable of maintaining an average temperature below 45 degrees F and shall be properly installed by the owner and operated and kept in a sanitary working condition by the occupant.

(4) Cooking and heating equipment: All cooking and heating equipment, components, and accessories in every heating, cooking, and water heating device shall be maintained free fi and obstructions, and kept functioning properly so as to be free from fire, health and hazards.

(5) Installation: All mechanical equipment shall be properly installed and safely main good working condition, and be capable of performing the function for which it was designed and intended.

(1) Flue: All fuel-burning equipment designed to be connected to a flue, chimney or be connected in an approved manner.

(2) Clearances: All required clearances from combustible materials shall be maintained

(3) Safety controls: All safety controls for fuel-burning equipment shall be maintained in effective operation.

(4) Combustion air: A supply of air for complete combustion of the fuel and for ventilation of the space shall be provided to the fuel-burning equipment.

(5) Fireplaces: Fireplaces and other devices intended for use similar to a fireplace, i wood-and- coal-burning stoves, shall be stable and structurally safe and connected to chimneys.

(11) Climate control: When facilities for interior climate control (heating, cooling, or h are integral functions of structures used as dwelling units, such facilities shall be maintained and operated in a continuous manner in accordance with the designed capacity.

§4118. Electrical facilities

(1) Outlets required: Where there is electric service available to a structure, every h room of a dwelling unit, and every guest room, shall contain at least two separate and outlets, one of which may be a ceiling or wall type electric light fixture. In a kitchen separate and remote wall type electric convenience outlets or two such convenience outlets ceiling or wall type electric light fixture shall be provided. Every public hall, water compartment, bathroom, laundry room or furnace room shall contain at least one electric fixture, in addition to the electric light fixture in every bathroom and laundry room, there provided at least one electric outlet.

(2) Installation: All electrical equipment, wiring and appliances shall be install maintained in a safe manner in accordance with all applicable laws. All electrical equipment be of an approved type.

(3) Defective system: Where it is found, in the opinion of the code official, that the electrical system in a structure constitutes a hazard to the occupants or the structure by reason of inadequate service, improper fusing, insufficient outlets, improper wiring or installation, deterioration damage, or for similar reasons, the code official shall require the defects to be corrected eliminate the hazard.

§4119. Fire safety requirements

(1) General: A safe, continuous and unobstructed means of egress shall be provided from the interior of a structure to the exterior at a street, or to a yard, court, or passageway leading to a public open area at grade.

(2) Direct exit: Every dwelling unit or guest room shall have access directly to the outside or to a public corridor.

(3) Locked doors: All doors in the required means of egress shall be readily openable from the inner side. Exits from dwelling units, hotel units, lodging units, and dormitory unites shall not lead through other such units, or through toilet rooms or bathrooms.

(4) Fire escapes: All required fire escapes shall be maintained in working condition and structurally sound.

(5) Exit signs: All exit signs shall be maintained, illuminated and visible.

(6) Accumulations: Waste, refuse, or other materials shall not be allowed to accumulate in stairways, passageways, doors, windows, fire escapes, or other means of egress.

(7) Flammable matter: Highly flammable or explosive matter, such as paints, volatile oils, and cleaning fluids, or combustible refuse, such as waste-paper, boxes, and rags, shall not be accumulated or stored on residential premises except in reasonable quantities consistent with

normal usage.

(8) Residential unit: A dwelling unit or rooming unit shall not be located within a structure containing an establishment handling, dispensing or storing flammable liquids with a flash point of 110 degrees F. or lower.

(9) Fire alarms: Fire alarms and detecting systems shall be maintained and be suitable for their respective purposes.

(10) Fire suppression system: Fire suppression systems shall be maintained in good condition, free from mechanical injury. Sprinkler heads shall be maintained clean, free of corrosion and paint, and not bent or damaged.

(U) Fire extinguishers: All portable fire extinguishers shall be visible and accessible, and maintained in an efficient and safe operating condition.

§4120. Responsibilities of persons

(1) Cleanliness: Every occupant of a structure or part thereof shall keep that part of the structure or premises thereof which that occupant occupies, controls, or uses in a clean and sanitary condition. Every owner of a dwelling containing two or more dwelling units shall maintain, in a clean and sanitary condition, the shared or public areas of the dwelling and premises thereof.

(2) Disposal of rubbish: Every occupant of a structure or part thereof shall dispose of all rubbish in a clean and sanitary manner by placing it in rubbish containers equipped with tight fitting covers as required by this Chapter.

(3) Disposal of garbage: Every occupant of a structure or part thereof shall dispose of garbage in a clean and sanitary manner, securely wrapping such garbage and placing it in tight garbage storage containers as required by this Chapter, or by such other disposal method as may be required by applicable laws or ordinances.

(4) Rubbish storage facilities: Every dwelling unit shall be supplied with approved containers and covers for storage of rubbish, and the owner, operator or agent in control of such dwelling shall be responsible for the removal of such rubbish.

(5) Food preparation: All spaces used or intended to be used for food preparation shall contain suitable space and equipment to store, prepare and serve foods in a sanitary manner. There shall be adequate facilities and services for the sanitary disposal of food wastes and refuse, including facilities for temporary storage when necessary.

(6) Supplied fixtures and equipment: The owner or occupant of a structure or part thereof shall keep the supplied equipment and fixtures therein clean and sanitary, and shall be responsible for the exercise of reasonable care in their proper use and operation.

(7) Furnished by occupant: The equipment and fixtures furnished by the occupant of a structure shall be properly installed, and shall be maintained in good working condition, kept clean an< sanitary, and free of defects, leaks or obstructions.

§4121. Extermination

(1) Owner: The owner of any structure shall be responsible for extermination of insects, rat: vermin, or other pests within the structure prior to renting, leasing or selling the structure.

(2) Tenant-occupant: The tenant occupant of any structure shall be responsible for the continued rat proof condition of the structure, and if the tenant occupant fails to maintain the rat- proof condition, the cost of extermination shall be the responsibility of the tenant occupant.

(3) Single occupancy: The occupant of a structure containing a single dwelling unit shall responsible for the extermination of any insects, rats or other pests in the structure or on the premises.

(4) Multiple occupancy: Every owner, agent or operator of two or more dwelling units or multiple occupancies, or rooming houses, shall be responsible for the extermination of any insects, rats or other pests in the public or shared areas of the structure and premises.

SUBCHAPTER III. ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT

§4122. General

The provisions of this Subchapter shall govern the administration and enforcement procedures of the State Housing Code. Any municipality or county that adopts the Code as its own may use these administrative and enforcement procedures as their own or may develop procedures which are similar in nature.

§4I23. Administrative liability

Except as may otherwise be provided by State statute, no officer, agent or employee of the State of Delaware, or any Delaware community, charged with the enforcement of this Chapter shall be rendered personally Liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of duties under this Chapter. No person who institutes, or assists in the prosecution of, a criminal proceeding under this Chapter shall be liable for damage therefor unless such person acted with actual malice and without reasonable grounds for believing that the person accused or prosecuted was guilty of an unlawful act or omission. Any civil suit brought against any officer, agent, or employee of the State of Delaware, or of any Delaware community, as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of duties under this Chapter shall be defended by the attorney-at- law of each jurisdiction and of the State of Delaware until the final determination of the proceedings therein.

§4124. Conflict of interest

No officer or employee who has an official duty in connection with the administration and enforcement of this Chapter shall be financially interested in the furnishing of labor, materials or appliances for the construction, alteration or maintenance of a building or in making the plans or specifications therefor, unless that person is the owner of such building. No such officer or employee shall engage in any activity which is inconsistent with the public interest and the officer's official duties. Any member of a Board of Appeals, as established under Section 4132 of this Chapter, who has a similar conflicting interest in the subject matter on appeal shall not participate in the voting; however, solely because that member's vote is counted will not make the decision void or voidable if the Board of Appeals, with or without knowledge of the material facts as to that member's interest, decided in good faith by a sufficient vote not counting the vote of the interested Board of Appeals member.

§4125. Records

The code official shall keep or cause to be kept records concerning the enforcement of this Chapter's provisions, which records shall be open to public inspection.

§4126. Duties and powers of code official

(a) General: The code official shall enforce all the provisions of this Chapter relative to the maintenance of structures and premises, except as may otherwise be specifically provided by other regulations.

(b) Notices and orders: The code official shall issue all necessary notices and orders to abate illegal or unsafe conditions to insure compliance with the Chapter requirements for the safety, health, and general welfare of the public.

(c) Inspections: In order to safeguard the safety, health and welfare of the public, the code official is authorized to enter any structure or premises at any reasonable time for the purpose of making inspections and performing duties under this Chapter.

(d) Right of entry: If any owner, occupant, or other person in charge of a structure subject to the provisions of this Chapter refuses, impedes, inhibits, interferes with, restricts, or obstructs entry and free access to any part of the structure or premises where inspection authorized by this Chapter is sought, the code official may seek, in a court of competent jurisdiction, an order that such owner, occupant or other person in charge cease and desist with such interference.

(a) Access by owner or operator: Every occupant of a structure or premises shall give the owner or operator thereof, or agent or employee, access to any part of such structure or its premises at reasonable times for the purpose of making such inspection, maintenance, repairs, or alterations as are necessary to comply with the provisions of this Chapter.

(f) Credentials: The code official or the code official's authorized representative shall disclose proper evidence of their respective office for the purpose of demonstrating authority to inspect any and all buildings and premises in the performance of duties under this Chapter.

(g) Rule-making authority: The code official shall have power as may be necessary in the interest of public safety, health and general welfare, to adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to interpret and implement the provisions of this Chapter to secure the intent thereof and to designate requirements applicable because of local climatic or other conditions.

(h) Annual report: At least annually, the Code official shall submit to the chief executive of the community or State a written statement of activities in a form and content as shall be prescribed by the chief executive of that jurisdiction.

§4127. Condemnation

(a) General: When a structure is found by the code official to be unsafe, or when a structure or part thereof is found unfit for human occupancy or use, it may be condemned pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter and may be placarded and vacated. Such condemned structure shall not be reoccupied without approval of the code official, but such approval may not be withheld upon completion of specified corrections of violations.

(b) Unsafe structure: An unsafe structure is one in which all or part thereof is found to be dangerous to life, health, property, or the safety of the public or the structure's occupants because it is so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, structurally unsafe, or of such faulty construction or unstable foundation that it is likely to partially or completely collapse.

(c) Unsafe equipment: Unsafe equipment includes any boiler, heating equipment, elevator, moving stairway, electrical wiring or device, flammable liquid containers or other equipment on the premises or within the structure which is in such disrepair or condition that it is found to be a hazard to life, health, property or safety of the public or occupants of the premises or structure. Unsafe equipment may contribute to the finding that the structure is unsafe or unfit for human occupancy or use.

(d) Structure unfit for human occupancy: A structure is unfit for human occupancy or use whenever the code official finds that it is unsafe, or because it lacks maintenance and is in extreme disrepair, is unsanitary, vermin or rat infested, contains filth and contamination, or lacks ventilation, illumination, sanitary or heating facilities or other essential equipment required by this Chapter.

(e) Closing of vacant structures: If the structure or part thereof is vacant and unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use, and is not in danger of structural collapse, the code official may post a placard of condemnation on the premises and may order the structure closed up so it will not be an attractive nuisance to youngsters. Upon failure of the owner to close up the premises within the time specified in the order, the code official shall cause it to be closed through any available public agency or by contract or arrangement by private persons and the cost thereof shall be charged against the real estate upon which the structure is located and shall be a lien upon such real estate in accordance with Section 4134 of the Chapter.

§4128. Notices and orders

(a) Notice to owner or to person or persons responsible: Whenever the code official determines that there has been a violation of this Chapter or has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation has occurred, or whenever the code official has condemned any structure or equipment under the provisions of Section 4127, notice shall be given to the owner or the person or persons responsible therefor in the manner prescribed below. If the code official has condemned the property or part thereof, the code official shall give notice to the owner and to the occupants of the intent to placard and to order vacation of the premises or to order equipment out of service.

(b) Form: Such notice shall:

(1) Be in writing;

(2) Include a description of the real estate sufficient for identification;

(3) Include a statement of the reason or reasons why it is being issued;

(4) Include a correction order allowing a reasonable time for the repairs and improvements required to bring the dwelling unit or structure into compliance with the provisions of this Chapter; and

(5) Include an explanation of the owner's and/or occupant's right to seek modification or withdrawal of the notice by petition to a Board of Appeals having jurisdiction. (6) State penalties for non compliance.

(c) Service: Such service shall be deemed to be properly served upon such owner and/or occupant if a copy thereof is delivered to the owner and/or occupant personally; or by leaving the notice at the usual place of abode, in the presence of someone in the family of suitable age and discretion who shall be informed of the contents thereof; or by certified or registered mail addressed to the owner at the last known address with return receipt requested or if the certified or registered letter is returned with receipt showing that it has not been delivered, by posting a copy thereof in a conspicuous place on or about the structure affected by such notice, and at least one publication of such notice in a local newspaper of general circulation.

(d) Service on occupant: When a condemnation order is served on an occupant other than the owner or person responsible for such compliance, a reasonable time to vacate the property after noncompliance shall be stated. Owners or persons responsible for compliance must vacate at the time set for correction of defects if there is failure of compliance.

(e) Penalties: Failure to comply with orders and notices shall be subject to the penalties set forth in Section 4131 (2).

(f) Transfer of ownership: It shall be unlawful for the owner of any dwelling unit or structure who has received a compliance order or upon whom a notice of violation has been served to sell, transfer, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of such property to another until the provisions of the compliance order or notice of violation has been complied with, or until such owner shall first furnish the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee a true copy of any compliance order or notice of violation issued by the code official and shall furnish to the code official a signed and notarized statement from the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee, acknowledging the receipt of such compliance order or notice of violation and fully accepting the responsibility without condition for making the corrections or repairs required by such compliance order or notice of violation.

§4129. Placarding

(1) Placarding of structure: After the condemnation notice required under the provisions of this Chapter has resulted in an order by virtue of failure to comply within the time given, the code' official may post on the premises or structure or parts thereof, or on defective equipment, a placard bearing the words 'Condemned as unfit for human occupancy or use,' and a statement of the penalties provided for any occupancy or use or for removing the placard. The owner or the person or persons responsible for the correction of violations and all other occupants shall remove themselves from the property on failure to comply with the correction order in the time specified.

(2) Prohibited use: Any person who shall occupy a placarded premises or structure or part thereof, or shall use placarded equipment, and any owner or any person responsible for the premises who shall let anyone occupy a placarded premises shall be subject to the penalties set forth in Section 4131 (2).

(3) Removal of placard: The code official shall remove the condemnation placard whenever the defect or defects upon which the condemnation and placarding action were based have been eliminated. Any person who defaces or removes a condemnation placard without the approval of the code official shall be subject to the penalties provided by this Chapter.

§4130. Emergency orders

(1) General: Whenever a code official finds that an emergency exists on any premises, or in any structure or part thereof, or on any defective equipment which requires immediate action to protect the public's health and safety or that of the occupants thereof, the code official may, with proper notice and service in accordance with the provisions of Section 4128, issue an order reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring the vacating of the premises or such action taken as the code official deems necessary to meet such emergency. Notwithstanding other provisions of this Chapter, such order shall be effective immediately, and the premises or equipment involved shall be placarded immediately upon service of the order.

(2) Hearing: Any person to whom such order is directed shall comply therewith. They may thereafter, upon petition directed to a Board of Appeals having jurisdiction, be afforded a hearing as prescribed in this Chapter. Depending upon the findings of the Board of Appeals at such hearing as to whether the provisions of this Chapter and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with, the Board of Appeals shall continue such order or modify or revoke it.

§4131. Violations

(1) Unlawful acts: It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to erect, construct, alter, extend, repair, remove, demolish, use or occupy any structure or equipment regulated by this withdrawal of the notice by petition to a Board of Appeals having jurisdiction. (6) State penalties for non compliance.

(c) Service: Such service shall be deemed to be properly served upon such owner and/or occupant if a copy thereof is delivered to the owner and/or occupant personally; or by leaving the notice at the usual place of abode, in the presence of someone in the family of suitable age and discretion who shall be informed of the contents thereof; or by certified or registered mail addressed to the owner at the last known address with return receipt requested or if the certified or registered letter is returned with receipt showing that it has not been delivered, by posting a copy thereof in a conspicuous place on or about the structure affected by such notice, and at least one publication of such notice in a local newspaper of general circulation.

(d) Service on occupant: When a condemnation order is served on an occupant other than the owner or person responsible for such compliance, a reasonable time to vacate the property after noncompliance shall be stated. Owners or persons responsible for compliance must vacate at the time set for correction of defects if there is failure of compliance.

(e) Penalties: Failure to comply with orders and notices shall be subject to the penalties set forth in Section 4131 (2).

(f) Transfer of ownership: It shall be unlawful for the owner of any dwelling unit or structure who has received a compliance order or upon whom a notice of violation has been served to sell, transfer, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of such property to another until the provisions of the compliance order or notice of violation has been complied with, or until such owner shall first furnish the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee a true copy of any compliance order or notice of violation issued by the code official and shall furnish to the code official a signed and notarized statement from the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee, acknowledging the receipt of such compliance order or notice of violation and fully accepting the responsibility without condition for making the corrections or repairs required by such compliance order or notice of violation.

§4129. Placarding

(1) Placarding of structure: After the condemnation notice required under the provisions of this Chapter has resulted in an order by virtue of failure to comply within the time given, the code' official may post on the premises or structure or parts thereof, or on defective equipment, a placard bearing the words 'Condemned as unfit for human occupancy or use,' and a statement of the penalties provided for any occupancy or use or for removing the placard. The owner or the person or persons responsible for the correction of violations and all other occupants shall remove themselves from the property on failure to comply with the correction order in the time specified.

(2) Prohibited use: Any person who shall occupy a placarded premises or structure or part thereof, or shall use placarded equipment, and any owner or any person responsible for the premises who shall let anyone occupy a placarded premises shall be subject to the penalties set forth in Section 4131 (2).

(3) Removal of placard: The code official shall remove the condemnation placard whenever the defect or defects upon which the condemnation and placarding action were based have been eliminated. Any person who defaces or removes a condemnation placard without the approval of the code official shall be subject to the penalties provided by this Chapter.

§4130. Emergency orders

(1) General: Whenever a code official finds that an emergency exists on any premises, or in any structure or part thereof, or on any defective equipment which requires immediate action to protect the public's health and safety or that of the occupants thereof, the code official may, with proper notice and service in accordance with the provisions of Section 4128, issue an order reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring the vacating of the premises or such action taken as the code official deems necessary to meet such emergency. Notwithstanding other provisions of this Chapter, such order shall be effective immediately, and the premises or equipment involved shall be placarded immediately upon service of the order.

(1) Hearing: Any person to whom such order is directed shall comply therewith. They may thereafter, upon petition directed to a Board of Appeals having jurisdiction, be afforded a hearing as prescribed in this Chapter. Depending upon the findings of the Board of Appeals at such hearing as to whether the provisions of this Chapter and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with, the Board of Appeals shall continue such order or modify or revoke it.

§4131. Violations

(1) Unlawful acts: It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to erect, construct, alter, extend, repair, remove, demolish, use or occupy any structure or equipment regulated by this Chapter, or cause same to be done, contrary to or in conflict with or in violation of any of the provisions of this Chapter.

(2) Penalty for violation: Any person who shall violate any provision of this Chapter or wh. fails to comply with any notice or order issued by a code official pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than twenty- five dollars ($25) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500) or imprisoned for a term no exceeding thirty (30) days, or both. Except where an appeal is taken, each day of a separate an continuing violation shall be deemed a separate offense. The Superior Court shall have exclusive and original jurisdiction over offenses prosecuted under this Chapter.

(3) Prosecution: In case any violation order is not promptly complied with, the code official may direct the State Attorney General, city solicitor, or the community attorney- at law t institute an appropriate action or proceeding at law to seek the penalty provided in Section 4131 (2 Also, the code official may ask such legal representative to proceed at law or in equity against the person responsible for the violation for the purpose of ordering that person:

a. To restrain, correct or remove the violation or refrain from any further execution work;

b. To restrain or correct the erection, installation, or alteration of such structure;

c. To require the removal of work in violation; or

d. To prevent the occupancy or use of the structure, or part thereof erected, construction installed or altered in violation of, or not in compliance with, the provisions of this Chapter, in violation of a plan or specification under which an approval, permit or certification w; issued.

§4132. Right to appeal

(1) State Board of Appeals, composition: There shall be created a State Board of Appeals f the State of Delaware. The State Board of Appeals shall consist of five members appointed by the Governor. The terms of the members shall be staggered. The first and second appointees shall serve for a term of two years, the third and fourth appointees shall serve for a term of three year and the fifth appointee, who shall serve as Chairperson, shall serve for a term of four years. Al appointment, pursuant to the provisions hereof, to replace a member whose position becomes vacant prior to the expiration of that person's term, shall be filled only for the remainder of that term. least two but no more than three members of the State Board shall be affiliated with one of t major political parties, and at least one but no more than two members shall be affiliated with t other major political party; provided, however, there shall be no more than a bare majority representation of one major political party over the other major political party. Any person w declines to announce his political affiliation shall be eligible for appointment as a member of t State Board.

(2) Community Board of Appeals, composition: A Community Board of Appeals may be created in each community of the State. A Community Board of Appeals shall consist of five members who shall be residents of that community and who shall be appointed by the chief executive of t community for staggered terms as outlined for the State Board of Appeals in Section 4132 (1) above. Until a community appoints a Board of Appeals, appeals from actions taken by the code official shall be to the State Board of Appeals.

(3) Board of Appeals, rules and regulations: Each Board of Appeals shall adopt and publish rules and regulations as may be necessary to govern its administrative procedures and proceedings.

(4) Procedure for Appeals: Any person aggrieved by an action taken by the code official is appeal from such action by filing written notice of appeal with the appointed State Board of Appeals or any Community Board of Appeals having jurisdiction, within ten days after the giving or post of notice of such action. An appeal under this subsection shall stay the effect of the Notice Violation or Condemnation and shall prevent the code official from proceeding with the remedies provided under this Chapter pending decision by a Board of Appeals. An appeal to the Super Court by an aggrieved person from a decision of such Board or Appeals shall be made in the man, provided for appeals from administrative decisions.

(5) Vote: A Board of Appeals shall hear all appeals relative to the enforcement of this Chapter within its jurisdiction within a reasonable period of time after the filing of an appeal, and by a concurring vote of the majority of its members may reverse or affirm wholly or partly, or may modify, the action appealed from, and shall make such other order or determination as in it deems just. Failure to secure such concurring votes shall be deemed a confirmation of the decision of code official.

(6) Financial interest: A member of a Board of Appeals shall not participate in any hearing or vote on any appeal in which that member has a direct or indirect financial interest.

(7) Records: Each Board of Appeals shall keep a written or recorded record of each meeting showing clearly the basis for each decision made by the Board.

§4133. Demolition

(1) General: The code official may order the owner of premises upon which is located any structure or part thereof, which in the code official's judgment is so old, dilapidated or has become so out of repair as to be dangerous, unsafe, unsanitary or otherwise unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use, so that it would be unreasonable to repair the same, to raze and remove such structure or part thereof; or, if it can be made safe by repair, to repair and make safe and sanitary or to raze and remove at the owner's option; or where there has been a cessation of normal construction of any structure for a period of more than two years, to raze and remove such structure or part thereof.

(2) Order: The order shall specify a time in which the owner shall comply therewith and specify repairs, if any. It shall be served on the owner of record or an agent where an agent is in charge of the building and upon the holder of any lien in the manner provided for service of a summons by a court of record. If the owner or a holder of a lien of record cannot be found, the order may be served by posting it on the main entrance of the building and by publishing it once each week for three successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in accordance with the rules of the Superior Court.

(3) Restraining actions: Anyone affected by any such order may within thirty days after service of such order, apply to a court of record for an order restraining the code official from razing and removing such structure or parts thereof. The court shall determine whether the order of the code official is reasonable, and if found unreasonable, the court may issue a restraining order.

(4) Failure to comply: Whenever the owner of a property fails to comply with a demolition order within the time prescribed, the code official shall cause the structure or part thereof to be razed and removed, either through an available public agency or by contract or arrangement with private persons, and the cost of such razing and removal shall be charged against the real estate upon which the structure is located and shall be a lien upon such real estate as provided in Section 4134.

(1) Salvage Materials: When any structure has been ordered razed and removed the Code official or other designated officer may sell the salvage and valuable materials resulting from such razing or removal, such materials to be sold at the highest price obtainable. The net proceeds of such sale, after deducting the expenses of such razing and removal, shall be promptly remitted with a report of such sale or transaction, including the items of expense and the amounts deducted, for the use of the person who may be entitled thereto, subject to any order of a court. If such a surplus does not remain to be turned over, the report shall so state.

§4134. Creation of tax lien

There is hereby created a tax lien on real property for monies expended by the State, or a community, for razing, demolition, removal or repairs of buildings or abatement of other unsafe conditions constituting a threat to the public health and safety where the responsible party refuses or fails to comply with the lawful order of the code official after due notice thereof, either actual or constructive. Upon certification of a tax lien to the appropriate State or community official by the code official, the amount of such lien shall be recorded and collected in the same manner as other county real estate taxes, and paid to the State or community, when collected, by the appropriate county government.

§4135. Severability

If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this Chapter shall be declared invalid for any reason whatsoever, such decision shall not affect the remaining provisions of this Chapter which shall continue in full force and effect; and to this end the provisions of this Chapter are hereby declared to be severable.

§4136. Saving clause

This Chapter shall not affect violations of any other ordinance, code or regulation of the State of Delaware, county or municipality existing prior to the effective date hereof, and any such violation shall be governed and shall continue to be enforced to the full extent of the law under the provisions of such ordinances, codes, or regulations in effect at the time the violation was committed."

Approved July 12, 1985.