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ENB-18.25 - Open/Close Cases

Administrative Rule Adopted by Bureau of Development Services Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority

A guideline for inspectors on when to open or close a nuisance or housing case.
Cases are opened when Neighborhood Inspections receives a valid complaint from any individual, community group, social service agency, government entity or a field inspector on properties located in the City of Portland.
Inspectors may close housing and nuisance cases using criteria that has been adopted by the Neighborhood Inspection Management Team.
Inspectors have the discretion and responsibility of self-initiating a housing case if they encounter violations of Title 29 of the City Code and if those violations are significant and fall into one of the following categories:
  • the violation(s) are a fire, life, or safety hazard; or
  • substantial maintenance issues that contribute to the deterioration of the structure; or
  • the violation is similar or worse in nature to one that has been posted on a nearby property; or
  • a Target area inspection
When citing Title 29 violations or initiating a case, inspectors will consider the following factors:
  • conditions of a structure pose a significant fire, life, and safety hazard to the occupants or community.
  • property is a rental, versus owner occupied.
  • minor property violations on a main structure will be cited if the conditions significantly contribute to the deterioration of the structure over time.
  • conditions of the structure warrant a referral to the Code Hearing Officer.
  • structure is open to significant weather entry through missing siding, windows or roof covering.
  • accessory structure:
    • is being used as an illegal occupancy
    • is structurally unsound or hazardous
    • has maintenance violations that will compromise the integrity of the building over time.
When initiating a nuisance case, inspectors will consider the following factors:
  • raw garbage at a property.
  • structure is open and vacant.
  • egregious violations hazardous to the occupant or the public.
  • vacant lots that have tall grass and weeds
  • there is a minimum of two cubic yards or more of debris.
  • other properties in view of a posted property that has similar or worse conditions.
  • less than 4' clearance on sidewalk or public right-of-way for pedestrian passage.
An inspector will consider the following factors when closing a housing case:
  • all violations on are corrected.
  • property is owner occupied and substantial portions of the violations have been corrected including all fire, life and safety violations.
  • property is a rental and significant portions of the violations have been corrected including all fire, life, and safety violations, there is evidence that that the owner will follow through with the remaining correction, i.e. issued permits, most of the work has been completed, remodel in process, history of compliance by the property owner.
  • A cited structure has been demolished and the foundation and debris removed. (NOTE: If the demolition permit is still open or it there is no sewer cap, Neighborhood Inspections will close the case and refer the property to the sewer break program.)
  • accessory structure or garage has only minor violations remaining.
An inspector may close a nuisance case when:
  • all the violations are corrected or the remaining violations are considered too minor to have a contractor abate.
  • upon inspection, the violations found are too minor to post.

Previously published as ONI Policy Number G-35-2.
Effective September 1, 2004.
Filed for inclusion in PPD September 30, 2004.
Amended rule adopted by Director of Bureau of Development Services and filed in PPD October 3, 2006.