A law allowing municipalities to take new measures against owners of dilapidated, abandoned properties has gone into effect.
The law allows code enforcement agencies to obtain search warrants from a municipal judge to determine the status of a structure. If granted, the agency can inspect the property to see if it is truly dilapidated, Charleston City Attorney Paul Ellis said.
If there are significant issues with the structure, municipalities can then demolish those that are serious public safety hazards. Previously, municipalities had to get either written consent from the building’s owner, or the municipality could get an order in circuit court.