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Buildings Unfit for Human Habitation

What Is It?

Our Buildings Unfit for Human Habitation ordinance regulates whether a building has deteriorated so much that it is unfit for a person to live in it. We consider a building to be unfit for human habitation when it threatens public safety and the cost to repair it would be more than 50 percent of the cost to replace it. We hold a hearing to determine whether a building is unfit, and can order its repair or demolition.

What It Isn't

This ordinance does not cover vacant buildings that do not meet “unfit” standards. See the Vacant Building Standards page for more information.

Read the Code

Read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) section for building and construction codes relating to buildings unfit for human habitation or other use, SMC 22.208.

Proposed Changes


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  • Call us at (206) 615-0808
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    Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m