Code Enforcement’s Dirty Dozen – Most Violated City Codes

Morgantown Code Enforcement Department is pretty busy, issuing permits for construction and remodeling, reviewing construction and electrical documents, and performing inspections based on permitted work.  It uses the 2012 International Property Maintenance Code to help keep all existing structures-residential homes, commercial buildings, fences, storage buildings, sidewalks, retaining walls safe for residents.

However, Code Enforcement does see its share of violations!  It’s written a Dirty Dozen list that outlines the top 12 most violated Property Maintenance Codes. Read over the list below to make sure you don’t end up with a notice on your door!



1 TrashThe stuff that is usually found blowing around on sidewalks, in the streets, and in yards.

City Ordinance 523.03: To place litter (solid waste or recyclables) in containers so as to prevent it from being carried or deposited by the elements or passer by upon any street, sidewalk,  public place, or upon private property.


2 Grass and WeedsIPMC 2012 Code section 302.4:  All premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of 10 inches. This is necessary to prevent rodent shelter and pollen dust problems.


3 Premise ID 2The numbers that the delivery guys need.

IPMC 2012 Code section 304.3: House numbers are to be 4 inches high & .5 inches wide.  Easily legible numbers are essential for rapid response of emergency personnel.


4 Broken WindowsUsually fixed with duct tape and cardboard.

IPMC 2012 Code Section 304.13.1: All glazing material shall be maintained free from cracks and holes. Broken windows can admit wind, moisture, and insects, which could result in potential hazard to occupants.


5 GraffitiThe result of a nighttime art project.

IPMC  2012 Code Section 302.9: No person shall deface private or public property by placing any markings, carvings, or graffiti. This is an eyesore and reduces property values and degradation of the structure and also interferes with the structure’s ability to repel rain and snow.


6 I or A VehiclesHaven’t moved your car in a while?  Don’t have a place to store a car that doesn’t work?

IPMC 2012 Code Section 302.8: No inoperative or unlicensed motor vehicle shall be parked, kept, or stored on any premise. No vehicle shall be disassembled, or in disrepair, or in the process of being stripped, dismantled, or in the process of being painted. These vehicles are unsightly, provide harborage for rodents, and are an unattractive nuisance.


Smoke-DetectorThose devices that you take the batteries out of to operate your remote control.

IPMC 2012 Code Section 704.2: Smoke detectors are required in every room used for sleeping purposes on the ceiling or wall outside of each sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms. Smoke detectors improve a sleeping occupant the ability to respond and exit to safety.


8 GFCI Outlets2014 National Electric Code: GFCI outlets are required in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, garages, and all outside receptacles.  When these devices sense a low amperage draw,  they de-energize the circuit and the person in contact with the device will not receive an electrical shock.


9 Dryer DuctPrevent destruction of your favorite WVU T-shirt by cleaning out dryer ducts and lint traps often.

International Residential Code 2009:  Dryer duct shall be independent of all other systems. Duct shall be terminated outside of the building. Exhaust duct shall have a smooth interior finish constructed of metal with a minimum wall thickness of .016 inches and 4 inches in diameter. Duct shall be supported at 4 foot intervals. Transition duct shall be listed and labeled and be of a single length of a maximum of 8 feet. The maximum length of the exhaust duct shall be 25 feet.


10 PaintNot just a pretty color.

IPMC 2012 Code Section 304.2: All exteriors surfaces, including, but not limited to,  doors, door and window frames, cornices, porches, trim, balconies, decks, fences, and storage buildings shall be protected from the elements by painting or other protective covering or treatment. These coverings protect the surfaces from rot and decay helping to eliminate blight within the community.


11 Deadbolt Door LockIPMC 2012 Code Section 304.18.1: Doors providing access to a dwelling unit, rooming unit, or housekeeping unit that is rented, leased, or let, shall be equipped with a deadbolt lock designed to be operable from the side from which egress is to be made without the use of keys. The proper installation of locking hardware to secure an entry doorway is essential.


12 TotersCity ordinance 1139.11: Solid waste & recycling container may be placed at their pick-up site no earlier than 6PM on the day before the scheduled day of collection. This eliminates the container from sitting on the sidewalk creating possibilities of accidents or litter. (See more on this next!)