Minimum Maintenance Bylaws and Ordinances
A Minimum Maintenance Bylaw or Ordinance, also known as a Demolition by Neglect Bylaw or Ordinance, provides a method of addressing buildings that are suffering from deferred maintenance. A lack of basic maintenance can lead to the gradual deterioration of a building. Eventually, this can result in public safety concerns, major structural issues and ultimately the demise of the building. The benefit of a minimum maintenance bylaw or ordinance is that it can proactively require an owner to address maintenance needs, through stabilizing and securing the building, before the building is lost. The required standards of basic maintenance are typically included within the bylaw or ordinance. These would include steps to prevent water infiltration through roofs, adequate protective coatings on exterior walls, replacement of broken window glass, maintaining gutters and downspouts, securing the property from unauthorized entrance, removing brush from around the building, cleaning debris from the property as well as others.
Most Minimum Maintenance Bylaws and Ordinances apply to all areas of the municipality and are a stand-alone bylaw or ordinance. However, the town of Edgartown included minimum maintenance langauge within their local historic district bylaw.
A Minimum Maintenance Bylaw or Ordinance attempts to address the deterioration of a building before it is too late.