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Minimum Housing Standards

The Minimum Housing Code is a Miami-Dade County law that requires all houses and apartments to be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition and to contain certain basic equipment.

The Code applies throughout all of unincorporated Miami-Dade County. It covers owner-occupied homes as well as rented homes, apartments, and rooming houses with four units and less. Violators of the Code, whether owner or tenant, may be prosecuted in Civil or Criminal Court.

The Neighborhood Regulations Division of the Miami-Dade County Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources is responsible for enforcing the Minimum Housing Code. The office is located at 11805 SW 26 Street, Suite 230 (786-315-2552). Trained staff are available from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, to answer questions, provide information and assist you in the investigation of violations of the minimum housing standards.

Owner and Tenant Responsibilities

Every citizen, whether a home owner or tenant, has a responsibility to keep his residence in safe and sanitary condition. The Minimum Housing Code sets forth certain responsibilities for owners and tenants.

Basic Responsibilities as an Owner:

1. To keep the dwelling in good structural condition;

2. to provide adequate plumbing, hot water, lighting, and ventilation;

3. To provide adequate and safe space heating in dwellings built after March 17, 1969. In dwellings built before that date, only adequate utility connections must be available for space heating equipment;

4. To provide adequate and safe electrical outlets and light fixtures;

5. To protect with paint or other suitable material on all exterior surfaces subject to deterioration such as wood trim and siding;

6. To provide sufficient garbage and trash facilities;

7. To exterminate rodents and insects;

8. To control the occupancy of each dwelling to prevent overcrowding;

9. To provide maintenance and correct sanitation problems for which the owner is responsible.

10. To inform the tenants of the person to contact in case of emergencies.

Basic Responsibilities as a Tenant:

1. To keep the dwelling clean and sanitary;

2. To exercise careful and proper use of the facilities supplied by the owner;

3. To keep the plumbing free from obstructions;

4. To eliminate rodents or insects in your dwelling;

5. To dispose of garbage and trash properly;

6. To avoid doubling-up on occupancy and overcrowding;

7. To avoid keeping pets in a manner which creates unsanitary conditions or a nuisance;

8. To provide access for inspection of your dwelling by department staff;

9. To not use unsafe cooking equipment; and

10. To not use unsafe space heating equipment. Tenants are responsible for providing adequate and safe heating equipment in dwellings built before March 17, 1969 and the owner must provide the proper utility connections for the heating equipment

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Complaints and Inspections

If you have a complaint about conditions in your rented dwelling, you should first notify the owner, manager or rent collector.

Should the problem not be corrected within a reasonable time, telephone the 311 Call Center and tell them about the problem. When you call, be sure to tell them when someone will be home to let the Neighborhood Compliance Officer in.

The Officer will determine what action is necessary to correct the problem. Often, the officer's phone call to the owner or landlord is all that is necessary, but a complete inspection of the entire building may be required.

If necessary, the owner will be notified of the Minimum Housing Code Violations that he must correct. You as the tenant may also be notified of any violations that are your responsibility to correct.

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Condemned Buildings

Sometimes, houses and apartments become so rundown that they must be condemned. This means they are no longer fit to live in, and the occupants must move.

The condemnation of a building is a very serious thing and is usually taken as a last resort when all other efforts to improve conditions have failed. When Neighborhood Compliance Officers condemn a building, the owner and the tenants are notified in writing of this action, and a sign is tacked to the building which says the dwelling is not fit for human habitation and cannot be occupied.

If your house or apartment is condemned for any reason, you may be eligible for priority relocation assistance in finding more suitable housing.

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Relocation from Condemned Housing

If your house or apartment has been condemned, or if the landlord tells you to move so he can comply with an order to repair or demolish his building, or because you are overcrowding the unit, you are eligible for certain relocation assistance. You must call the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust at 305-375-1491 or Homeless Helpline at 1-877-994-HELP to ask for assistance.

You may be interested in relocation to a public housing project. If so, your relocation worker will tell you if you can get in and what projects have vacant apartments. If you have a steady job and good credit, you may qualify to buy your own home with a very small down payment.

Remember these important things:

1. Complaints of housing conditions can be reported by telephoning the 311 Call Center;

2. The tenant, as well as the owner, has a responsibility to take care of his dwelling;

3. If your landlord asks you to move so that he can make necessary repairs or demolish the building, then you may be entitled to assistance in finding other housing; and

4. Before you move be sure you contact your relocation worker otherwise, you may lose an opportunity for assistance. Their office is located at 111 NW 1 Street, 27th floor, Suite 310 or phone 305-375-1491 or Homeless Helpline 1-877-994-HELP.

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Notice

This information is intended only for general understanding of the subject. For specific information concerning the requirements of the Minimum Housing Standards, contact the Neighborhood Regulations Division at 786-315-2552 or refer to Chapter 17 of the Code of Miami-Dade County.

Staff will make the selection of applicants; a waiting list will be created from the accepted applications.

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Page Last Edited: Thu Apr 3, 2014 3:36:57 PM
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