Property Maintenance Code
The Property Maintenance Code (PDF) addresses minimum standards for interior and exterior maintenance of existing buildings and structures.
The Township supervisors adopted a Property Maintenance Code largely to protect against deterioration of the condition of buildings throughout the Township by focusing on fundamental standards before conditions deteriorate to the point where an owner will not correct violations. Ordinance 2013-14 is accessible through the main page of the Ordinances section.
Third Party Administration
Initially, Building Inspection Underwriters of Pennsylvania, Inc. (BIU) will focus its work in two distinct areas, using a similar standard in its inspections.
Each year, it will survey areas of the Township assigned by Millcreek to identify any buildings or structures which fail to meet established minimum standards of fundamental safety and stability.
BIU will also receive and review complaints received as to conditions of a particular property. Where violations are found to exist, BIU will cite the owner or other responsible party. If violations are not corrected promptly, BIU as code official will bring actions to enforce the code and impose fines for violation.
In general surveys of properties and in responding to complaints, BIU has been instructed by the Township to follow the same standards in determining whether a violation occurs. These standards do not include every technical requirement in the adopted Code, because in both of these cases, the Township’s concern is with identifying and resolving serious defective conditions. The initial standard being followed by BIU is to focus generally on matters relating directly to:
- Dilapidated or deteriorated property conditions
- Exterior areas uncovered and exposed to the elements [see Sections 304.2, 304.7]
- Insect screens [Section 304.14]
- Motor vehicles violating Township standards in Section 302.8
- Premises identification [Section 304.3]
- Rubbish and garbage standards [see Section 308]
- Sanitation [Section 302.1]
- Swimming pool standards [set forth in Sections 302.1, 303.2]
- Unsafe conditions [such as Sections 304.4, 305.1 of the Code]
- Weeds, grass and vegetation in excess of 8 inches in height or otherwise violating Section 302.4
Generally, BIU will provide an owner with written notice where a violation has been found, and the owner will be given an opportunity to rectify the violation with a date being set for a second inspection. Services to this point are within the Township’s contract with BIU. The Township likely will establish a schedule of fees for any additional work required by an owner’s failure to take action by the second inspection, etc.
Additional Inspection Programs
Millcreek anticipates establishing programs of regular inspection of residential rental properties and commercial properties, which would become effective as early as 2015. Largely for this reason, the Township will not process tenants’ complaints until the rental inspection program is established and can treat similarly used properties in a consistent way.