What Happens When A House Is Condemned? Guide To Condemned Houses (2023)

Although a condemned house to most sounds like something terrible and certainly undesired, the reality is that such properties are not lost causes. As a seller, there is a lot that you can still do, like selling a condemned property after some renovation and repair work. Many people prefer selling a condemned house for cash and ensuring a quick and seamless selling process. On the other hand, if you’re a buyer, buying a condemned property in TN could turn into one of your best deals.

Regardless of whether you are an owner of a condemned property looking to sell your house fast or you’re willing to put in the extra work for repair or renovation, there are a few things that you should be aware of when it comes to selling a condemned property in Tennessee. In this article, we’ll explore in detail the process of selling a condemned house in TN and answer all of your questions

Condemned House: What You Need To Know About A Condemned House

What is a Condemned House?

For starters, let’s see what determines a condemned house. A condemned house is one that is no longer suitable for people to inhabit. If you’re wondering what makes a place condemned, there are a few things or condemned house rules that could cause the local government to condemn a property:

  • The house has been empty and completely abandoned for a time period of two months or more
  • All utilities connected to the property have been cut or have not been installed, including water and electricity
  • Following a property inspection, the inspector reports that there are certain hazards in the property that could be threatening to the safety and well-being of humans
  • The property has been dilapidated by an inspector or has been categorized as condemned without any hazards described

There are additional reasons that could lead to the property being condemned, like missing permits or renovation that has been done not according to regulations. A condemned house in TN may still be sold under some circumstances. We’ll look into the process of selling a condemned in TN house later on in this article.

Can You Still Live in a Condemned House?

One of the most common questions people have is can you still live in a condemned house. The rules for living in a condemned house vary from state to state and the best thing to do is to speak to an attorney or to the local government to understand your rights. Under condemned house rules, in most cases, the property can’t be inhabited by both the property owner or any tenants. Normally, the state or local authorities will notify everyone about the condition of the house by putting up a condemned sign on the property.

(Video) Rehabbing a condemned property.

Owners of condemned houses in Tennessee will be notified about the property’s condition via a letter that offers two options – to either make the required repairs or vacate the home.

However, something to keep in mind; although you or your tenants aren’t living in the property, that doesn’t mean other guests may not make themselves at home. Condemned houses are usually targeted for unwelcome visitors, including squatters, vandals, or trespassers because usually, the home is sitting vacant. They may either move into the unsafe property or cause even more damage to the home. So you’ll want to decide if you’re going to sell the house or make the necessary repairs as soon as you can; that way, the home isn’t susceptible to further damage that devalues the property.

→ Did you know that squatters have rights too? If you have squatters living in your condemned house learn more about their rights by clicking here.

Can You Sell a Condemned House?

Another popular question people have is can you sell a condemned house in TN? Although normally, selling a condemned house is not something you can do, there are a few things that could be done to make the sale possible. Condemned property laws in TN state, that condemned property cannot be sold as a structure but the land can still be sold. The buyer will have to pay the price for tearing down the structure and receiving the approval for a mortgage, in this case, is rather difficult.

If you’re interested in selling a condemned house or selling your house as-is, it’s essential to sell fast before it’s officially condemned. You can also stop the process by arranging a deal with the local government, where you agree to repair and make the necessary changes to the property in a given time period.

What Happens When A House Is Condemned? Guide To Condemned Houses (1)
(Video) How to Buy Condemned Houses (In 15 Seconds) #shorts #youtubeshorts

Tips for Selling a Condemned House

Selling a condemned house may sound like something impossible but this is far from reality. There are certain tips for selling a condemned house that will definitely help you exit the situation with more advantages, which will help you save time and money. Let’s look at what you could do to ensure the process of selling a condemned house in TN goes smoothly and successfully for you.

Choose a Selling Strategy

You have a couple of strategies to choose from when selling a condemned house. You can list with an agent, sell by yourself, or sell to an iBuyer. Each selling strategy does have its pros and cons. Let’s take a look at each option to help you figure out how you should sell your condemned house.

Sell with a Local Real Estate Agent

Listing with a realtor isn’t a bad idea since they will be hands-on with the sale of your condemned property. Your agent should handle most of the selling process, and he or she may already have a buyer in mind that’s looking for a teardown or a housing project. But more than likely, you will have a hard time selling if you plan to list the property as-is. Most buyers aren’t looking for fixer-uppers, let alone a home that’s been condemned. So your house may be on the market for a while until the perfect buyer comes along.

Something else to keep in mind when hiring a listing agent- commissions. Yes, they will handle selling your house so you won’t have to, but they don’t work for free. The average agent commission in Tennessee is 5.6-6%, split 50/50 between the buyer and seller’s agents. To put that amount into perspective, if you were to sell the condemned home for $35,000 (land value only), the commission would cost $1,960-$2,100. For many people, that’s money that they would otherwise prefer to keep, making homeowners look into other options to sell their condemned property like selling by owner or selling to an iBuyer.

Sell By Owner

A cheaper selling strategy is to sell by owner. Most homeowners looking to sell entertain listing FSBO because it’s cheaper than listing with an agent. However, everything that an agent would be in charge of will now be your responsibility. Here is a list of things you’ll need to do to sell a condemned home by owner in Tennessee.

  • Determine a listing price
  • Figure out if you’re going to make repairs or sell as-is
  • Come up with a marketing strategy
  • Hire a photographer
  • Figure out a listing description
  • Advertise the property on real estate websites and social media
  • Answer questions via phone or email
  • Show prospective buyers around the property
  • Negotiate offers
  • Coordinate the closing
  • Consider hiring a real estate attorney
  • Fill out legal paperwork and disclosures

Needless to say, selling by owner won’t be easy, but it is less expensive since you won’t be hiring a listing agent. However, if the buyer works with an agent to purchase your property, you could be on the hook for their agent’s commission. Using the amount above $35,000, the buyer’s agent commission could cost 2.7-3% of the sale price ($945-$1,050). And even though you’re doing all the work to sell by owner, the buyer may ask you to cover the commission as a part of the sales agreement.

(Video) CONDEMNATION vs. EMINENT DOMAIN: 6 Things You Should Know

Sell to an iBuyer

If you’ve figured out you don’t want to sell with an agent or by owner, you can always consider selling your house online to an iBuyer. The only issue you may encounter is that sometimes iBuyers have specific housing criteria they are looking to buy, so they may not be in the market for a condemned house. You can always double-check, though; usually, they have helpful information on their website, or you can fill out a form online to get an offer.

Although their process is really easy to sell online without listing your home, they do charge service fees. Sometimes these fees are even more expensive than realtor commissions (6-7%).

Address the Violations First

Once you figure out what selling strategy you’d like to use, you’ll need to decide if you will sell as-is or address the violations and repairs. If you’d really like for the condemned house to be included in the sale of the property, you’ll need to address the violations first. Since people are technically not allowed into the home for safety reasons, you’ll need to repair these issues before listing the property. First, figure out what code violations you were cited for; this should be in the letter you received regarding the property’s condition.

Here are some examples of common code requirements for a house to be deemed liveable:

  • Heat
  • Light fixtures
  • Safe electrical outlets
  • Ventilation
  • Hot water
  • Plumbing

After you find out what code violations you have against your home, contact a few contractors to get quotes for the repairs. You’ll want to make sure to work with reputable contractors so that the work being done to the home is compliant with Tennessee building codes. After you get several estimates, determine what you can afford to have done that’s within your budget. You’ll also want to figure out your timeline for selling the abandoned home too. Some of these repairs can take a while, so if you need to sell quickly for the extra money, you may want to consider another selling alternative which will be covered shortly.

After the needed repairs are completed, you’ll more than likely need to have the home inspected again to get approval that it is now deemed safe. After you’ve been cleared, then you can start the process of getting the house ready to sell.

(Video) Condemned house visit

Make Major Repairs

Once you’ve addressed all the code violations, you’ll still need to access the home for other major repairs. Even though you may have fixed a drainage problem, mold, or electrical issue, you may still have other major repairs that need to be made around the house. You’ll also want to uncover the improvements to do to boost home value. This could include taking care of any water damage, repairing or replacing the roof, taking care of the plumbing, replacing flooring, and more. Hopefully, the house hasn’t been sitting abandoned too long because you may discover the home needs several major repairs.

Here is an example of some of the most common major repairs and how much they cost:

Replace RoofAverage cost $4,700-$10,500
New HVACAverage cost $3,200-$12,500
New Water Heater$1,000-$3,000
Window Replacement$300-$700 for each window
New Hardwood Floors$12-$20 per square foot
Repaint Exterior of the House$3,600-$5,000 for a 2,500sqf house

Again you’ll need to consider your timeframe and how quickly you were looking to sell because getting the abandoned house officially ready to list may take some time.

Many people just don’t have the extra time or money to put towards getting their condemned property ready to sell. Plus, there is no guarantee that you’ll make all of the money back after completing the necessary repairs. This also doesn’t include agent commissions or service fees if you were to sell to an iBuyer.

For many homeowners in this particular situation, the best solution is to sell the property as-is to a cash home buyer.

Sell to Cash Home Buyers

When it comes to tips for selling a condemned house, one of the most valuable ones is selling a condemned house for cash. In most cases, cash buyers who are ready to invest in a condemned house have experience and financial stability behind their backs. Often, these are investors who can quickly and easily take care of the renovation and repair work, increase the value of the property, and resell it in an improved condition for more.

(Video) 3 Things That Determine Your Property Value in Condemnation

Another great part of selling to a cash home buyer is that they don’t charge commissions or service fees; they will even help pay closing costs. Ultimately, saving you thousands of dollars.

For you as the owner of a condemned house, selling a condemned property for cash is advantageous as the sale is quicker, you don’t have to wait for the buyer to receive mortgage approval, and you will get rid of a property that you would otherwise have to invest more in or potentially say goodbye to by tearing it down.


Condemned houses are a whole new world for people who haven’t had any experience with this type of property. In order to get maximum results and ensure you’re making the right steps, it’s best to receive the help and support of a professional or work with a realtor or investor who can offer guidance and advice. We hope that this article will help you be better informed on the topic and make the right decisions if you find yourself in a situation where you are dealing with a condemned property. If you would like to receive more information on the topic and explore it in more detail, check out our case study.


What Happens When A House Is Condemned? Guide To Condemned Houses? ›

What Happens to Condemned Houses? If you own a condemned house, your possession is seized by the government. Owners and other occupants are forced to leave immediately and condemned signs warning that the dwelling is unfit for anyone to live in are posted in a public spot, usually on the front door.

What is the difference between uninhabitable and condemned? ›

A condemned house is a house that has been deemed uninhabitable or unfit for living. This is usually due to unsafe living conditions or abundant code violations; however, a home can also be condemned if it inhibits public improvements, such as highway expansion.

What happens to a house when no one lives in it? ›

What Happens When a House Sits Vacant? Due to deferred maintenance and neglect, vacant houses are usually characterized by problems such as overgrown yards, broken windows, collapsing roofs, mold, and broken water pipes. Some of this damage is caused by vermin like raccoons, rats, mice, and bugs.

What happens to tenants when a property is condemned in NY? ›

A condemnation action does not invalidate an existing lease agreement, so you would still have the obligation to fulfill the terms of your lease. For this reason, many tenants may use any compensation they receive to pay off their lease.

How do I get my house condemned in Florida? ›

How Does a House Get Condemned?
  1. Unsanitary living conditions ( Hoarder Houses, Utilities like plumbing turned off )
  2. Vacant Building ( Abandoned for X amount of years and is causing safety concerns )
  3. Infrastructure failure.
  4. Utilities have been discontinued.
  5. The building is considered dilapidated.
May 29, 2020

What happens when something is condemned? ›

Condemnation is a legal term that means private property has been seized by the government for public use. The government is required to pay a fair market value in exchange. This typically happens for the building of things that will benefit the entire community, like new roads.

What is the alternative of condemned? ›

Some common synonyms of condemn are censure, criticize, denounce, reprehend, and reprobate.

What are the dangers of an empty house? ›

Empty homes can lead to damp and pests and also attract anti-social behaviour such as vandalism, arson or squatting. This can reduce the value of neighbours' homes.

How many houses can you own in life? ›

Second homes and investment properties

Conventional mortgage guidelines suggest lenders can approve a mortgage if you own up to 10 financed properties. That total count includes your primary residence and homes with owner financing or hard money business loans.

How long do you have to live in a house to not lose money? ›

Real estate agents suggest you stay in a house for 5 years to recoup costs and make a profit from selling. Before you put your house on the market, consider how your closing fees, realtor fees, interest payments and moving fees compare to the amount you have in equity.

What does condemn property mean in legal terms? ›

Condemnation in real estate occurs when a government seeks to take property from a private owner, either through eminent domain or some other governmental function. Generally, in a condemnation proceeding, the court must decide whether the taking is legal and appropriate compensation.

How much time does a landlord have to give a tenant to move out in NY? ›

In New York 5 Page 9 City, 30 days' notice is required, rather than one month. Landlords do not need to explain why the tenancy is being terminated, they only need to provide notice that it is, and that refusal to vacate will lead to eviction proceedings.

How long does it take to evict a tenant in NY? ›

A: A marshal must serve the tenant with a Notice of Eviction, before the eviction. Simply stated, this means that the marshal must wait at least three (3) business days after service of the Notice of Eviction before evicting the tenant. (Business days are considered Monday through Friday, except for legal holidays.)

What is a condemned structure? ›

A condemned property or a condemned building is a property or building that local (usually municipal) authorities have closed, seized, or placed restrictions on for various reasons, including public safety and public health, in accordance with local ordinance.

What happens when a house is condemned in Florida? ›

A condemned house is a structure the government does not deem fit for living. Once a property receives this status, no one can use or live in the property due to safety concerns. If occupants are currently residing in the home, they are forced to move and cannot return until proper renovations are completed.

What does condem mean? ›

: to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil usually after weighing evidence and without reservation. a policy widely condemned as racist. : to pronounce guilty : convict.

What is a sentence for condemn? ›

We strongly condemn this attack against our allies. The government condemns all acts of terrorism. The country condemns the use of violence on prisoners. The school condemns cheating, and any student caught cheating will be expelled.

How does condemned work? ›

When a Survivor is fully Condemned, you get a brief Killer Instinct notification of the doomed Survivor. You'll want to find them quickly, lest they find a way to delay your curse. Survivors gain stacks of Condemned when they are within 16 meters of a TV when The Onryo Projects to one.

What does strongly condemned mean? ›

to criticize something or someone strongly, usually for moral reasons: The terrorist action has been condemned as an act of barbarism and cowardice. The film was condemned for its sexism. Synonyms. attack (CRITICIZE)

What is condemned action? ›

Primary tabs. A condemnation action is a lawsuit where a government is exercising eminent domain to procure private property for some public use or benefit.

What is being condemned? ›

: pronounced guilty and sentenced to punishment. especially : sentenced to death.

What is the difference between condemn and condemned? ›

If you condemn something, you say that it is very bad and unacceptable. If someone is condemned to a punishment, they are given this punishment.

What can ruin a house? ›

50 Ways You're Ruining Your Home Without Realizing It
  • Keeping your blinds open all day. ...
  • Letting rooms with hardwood floors stay humid. ...
  • Sweeping instead of vacuuming. ...
  • Using too much water to clean your floors. ...
  • Forgetting to use furniture pads on hardwood floors. ...
  • Nailing into the wall without finding a stud.

What is it called when someone lives in an empty house? ›

Squatting is when someone is occupying an empty or abandoned property which they don't own or rent, and without the owner's permission. This is often without the owner's knowledge and without any legal right to do so.

How do you protect an empty house? ›

7 Tips to Protect Vacant Homes
  1. Perform regular maintenance. ...
  2. Practice fire prevention. ...
  3. Check the plumbing. ...
  4. Employ traditional security. ...
  5. Embrace the light. ...
  6. Beware advertisement. ...
  7. Secure vacant property insurance.

How long does the average person live in their home? ›

47% of Americans have lived in their homes for six to 10 years. 35% of homeowners have lived in their homes for 10 to 15 years. 16% have lived in their homes for less than five years. The average length of homeownership years is eight years.

What does house poor mean? ›

The expressions “house poor” and “house broke” refer to the situation where homeowners have bought homes beyond their means. They end up spending all their income on repairs and expenses, forgoing vacations and discretionary spending.

Is it better to own or rent? ›

Buying a house gives you ownership, privacy and home equity, but the expensive repairs, taxes, interest and insurance can really get you. Renting a home or apartment is lower maintenance and gives you more flexibility to move. But you may have to deal with rent increases, loud neighbors or a grumpy landlord.

At what age does a house start losing value? ›

If you haven't renovated your home in the past 30 years or so, it won't show well when you put it on the market. In other words, it won't get the same price as a similar home that's been maintained and updated.

At what age should you pay off your house? ›

In fact, O'Leary insists that it's a good idea to be debt-free by age 45 -- and that includes having your mortgage paid off. Of course, it's one thing to shed a credit card balance by age 45. But many people don't first buy a home until they reach their 30s.

How long do you have to live in a house to break even? ›

Ideally, you should stay in a home for at least three to five years to break even on your mortgage. Your mortgage payment should be 25% or less of your pre-tax income. Get a thorough home inspection before you buy so there aren't any surprises.

What is a Judgement of condemnation? ›

(criminal law) a final judgment of guilty in a criminal case and the punishment that is imposed. synonyms: conviction, judgment of conviction, sentence. Antonyms: acquittal.

What is a condemnation clause? ›

a) A “condemnation clause” in a lease determines what happens if a governmental entity condemns, or acquires under threat of condemnation, all or a portion of the leasehold.

What is the summary of condemnation? ›

Condemnation is the process a government or private entity uses to legally acquire property. Condemnation may be used to enforce housing and safety codes for abandoned or dilapidated properties. Authorities can condemn properties through eminent domain to seize property from their owners.

How long can a tenant stay without paying rent in NY? ›


Building owners must notify the tenant that rent is late, what the balance is, and that, if not paid, the tenant will be evicted. Three days after notice is given or oral demand for the rent is made, the owner may file a nonpayment proceeding in Housing Court and serve papers on the tenant.

How far behind in rent before eviction in NY? ›

The landlord/owner must send you a notice by certified mail telling you that the rent is overdue when it is at least 5 days past the due date. 2. The landlord/owner must send you a written rent demand. This warns you that the landlord/owner wants the rent, and that if you don't pay, you can be evicted.

How much does it cost to evict a tenant in NYS? ›

The Sheriff's Office handles evictions that involve the enforcement of a court order or warrant. The fee for performing an eviction is $140.

What makes a structure unsafe? ›

“Unsafe structures” means a structure that is determined by the Building Official to be dangerous to the life, health, property or safety of the public or the occupants of the structure by not providing minimum safeguards to protect or warn occupants in the event of fire, or because the structure contains unsafe ...

What does publicly condemned mean? ›

to say publicly that you think someone or something is bad or wrong.

What does condemn mean building? ›

Condemnation is when a determination that a structure or piece of equipment has been determined to be unsafe to occupy or unsafe to use. If my building is condemned, does that mean it will be demolished? Barring other catastrophic circumstances, a condemned building rarely requires demolition.

Can I lose my house in a lawsuit in Florida? ›

Can I Lose My Home in a Florida Lawsuit? Florida's homestead exemption of real property means, in most cases, you cannot lose your house in a Florida lawsuit.

Who can condemn a house in Florida? ›

(A) The Building Official shall condemn any premises upon which is located any structure, which in the Building Official's judgment, in consultation with professional staff, is so old, dilapidated or has become so out of repair to be dangerous, unsafe, unsanitary or otherwise unfit for human habitation or occupancy, ...

What does the Bible say about condemning? ›

2 Corinthians 5:21 says, For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. When you attempt to punish yourself or atone for your own sins with self-condemnation you only diminish Christ's atonement in your own eyes.

What is the other name of condem? ›

Another name for a condom is prophylactic sheath.

What does God condemn mean? ›

To condemn means “to pronounce to be guilty, to sentence to punishment, or to pass judgment against.” Satan is called the “accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10).

What does uninhabitable mean in legal terms? ›

A dwelling may be considered uninhabitable (unlivable) if it substantially lacks any of the following: • Effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls, including unbroken windows and doors.

What does condemn mean in property? ›

Condemnation in real estate occurs when a government seeks to take property from a private owner, either through eminent domain or some other governmental function. Generally, in a condemnation proceeding, the court must decide whether the taking is legal and appropriate compensation.

What does it mean become uninhabitable? ›

If a place is uninhabitable, it is impossible for people to live there, for example because it is dangerous or unhealthy.

What is the meaning of uninhabitable person? ›

: unfit for habitation : not inhabitable.

What is the word for when a house is deemed unlivable? ›

/ənɪnˈhæbɪtəbəl/ When it's impossible to live somewhere, that place is uninhabitable. A house is uninhabitable if is missing basic things like a roof and heat. Buildings are considered uninhabitable when they are dangerous, with holes in the floor, or exposed electrical wires that pose a fire hazard.

What does unfit to live mean? ›

Unfit for human habitation means any dwelling found to be unsafe or unhealthy for people to live in.

What is uninhabitable structure? ›

Uninhabitable structure means a historic building or structure damaged as a result of a disaster and that has been posted as “unsafe/no entry” (ATC red tag) or “unsafe/limited entry” (ATC yellow tag) by the Building Official, an OES certified inspector, or a Federal inspector.

What is the power of the state to condemn an owner's property called? ›

The federal government's power of eminent domain has long been used in the United States to acquire property for public use. Eminent domain ''appertains to every independent government.

Is a condemnation positive or negative? ›

condemn usually suggests an unqualified and final unfavorable judgment.

What places will become uninhabitable? ›

In particular, the areas that are most at risk by 2050 are South Asia, the Persian Gulf, and the Red Sea. Extending the horizon to 2070, Eastern China, Brazil, and some areas of South-East Asia are among the countries at risk.

What is an example of uninhabitable? ›

If you can't prepare or store food in your unit, it's uninhabitable. Air conditioning that doesn't work in states that experience dangerously hot summer months also qualifies.

What places are too hot to live? ›

The most vulnerable areas include South Asia, the Persian Gulf, and the Red Sea by around 2050; and Eastern China, parts of Southeast Asia, and Brazil by 2070.

What do you call someone you can't live without? ›

indispensable Add to list Share.

What is the word for no people living there? ›

If a place or building is empty because no people live there, you could use the word uninhabited. You can also say it is unoccupied. Uninhabited is often used of large areas or islands that do not have any people living in them.

Does inhabitable mean livable? ›

Definitions of inhabitable. adjective. fit for habitation. synonyms: habitable livable, liveable. fit or suitable to live in or with.


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