Gulfport: Vacant Home Codes

Q: What is Gulfport’s policy in regards to code enforcement at vacant homes? Please be specific about what the city will and will not do.

A: According to Gulfport City Manager Jim O’Reilly, the city first attempts to make contact with a responsible party. If those efforts prove unsuccessful, O’Reilly says “the action taken depends on the type of violation.”

First, the city will secure a property to prevent injury.

“This can include boarding broken windows and openings or locking unsecured entrances to homes and ‘attractive’ nuisances, such as swimming pools,” O’Reilly says. Next, the city removes trash and debris and ensures that “grass and vegetation are maintained to the city’s minimum code standard of 12 inches.”

Gulfport “will not repair broken items or perform structural improvements unless they represent a life/safety hazard,” O’Reilly says.

The city attempts to recover any costs associated with these efforts by placing a lien on the home. With the lien process, the city will receive its money when the property is sold.

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