Monday, October 3, 2016

“They” think “Your” Constitution Sucks!

Federal Lawsuit in California Alleging The City Is Forcing Rental Property Owners And Tenants Both To Volunteer For Searches And Inspections - Or Face Penalties - Just Like Roanoke City…!

To update you on Virginia Law… The politicians put in place inspection warrants to keep it legal and prevent the government from breaking the 4th Amendment. The 4th Amendment does not allow any government official to search your property without your approval unless they have a warrant. That goes for all government officials, from the tax man to police to code enforcers.

Virginia Code:
36-105 C3 -  Virginia Maintenance Code
3. Inspection warrants. If the local building department receives a complaint that a violation of the Building Code exists that is an immediate and imminent threat to the health or safety of the owner, tenant, or occupants of any building or structure, or the owner, occupant, or tenant of any nearby building or structure, and the owner, occupant, OR tenant of the building or structure that is the subject of the complaint has refused to allow the local building official or his agent to have access to the subject building or structure, the local building official or his agent may make an affidavit under oath before a magistrate or a court of competent jurisdiction and request that the magistrate or court grant the local building official or his agent an inspection warrant to enable the building official or his agent to enter the subject building or structure for the purpose of determining whether violations of the Building Code exist. After issuing a warrant under this section, the magistrate or judge shall file the affidavit in the manner prescribed by § 19.2-54. After executing the warrant, the local building official or his agents shall return the warrant to the clerk of the circuit court of the city or county wherein the inspection was made. The local building official or his agent shall make a reasonable effort to obtain consent from the owner, occupant, or tenant of the subject building or structure prior to seeking the issuance of an inspection warrant under this section.

Legal Disclaimer Time: I’m not a lawyer.
2nd Legal Disclaimer: But I can read.

So it says if the building department gets a complaint (from a tenant) that a violation exists and is both an immediate and imminent threat to the health and safety of that tenant, and any of the three the owner or occupant or tenant doesn’t let them in, the code enforcement officer can go to the magistrate and get an inspection warrant.

I think we all know what the word immediate and imminent means. As well as it’s referring to any of the above, owner, occupant or tenant. I had to read it a few times, but after doing so, the intent of the law is clear.

So a code official is required by law to get an inspection warrant in the case of the owner, being one of the 3, giving a trespassing notice to the code enforcement official, or even verbally notifying them that the said owner does not want them there unless they are there.


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