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Housing Closures

Though we often work together to accomplish related goals, health department housing inspectors are not building inspectors, and the health department does not have the legal power to "condemn" a structure.

Municipal building inspectors may also have requirements, beyond those of the health department, before a property can be used or legally occupied.

In some cases, the health department may close a structure in one of two ways, or post a warning placard. Only the health department may remove a closed placard; it is illegal for anyone else to do so.

Structures closed to occupancy are not currently fit for human habitation.

Authorized people may enter these properties during certain hours to clean or make required repairs.

No one may sleep, prepare meals, or carry out other living activities in a building closed to occupancy; doing so is a violation of state law.

Due to chemical contamination, structures closed to entry present a health threat to anyone who enters the structure.

Authorized decontamination personnel may enter these properties for conducting a preliminary assessment or performing permitted decontamination work. No other entry is allowed at any time.

Properties tested by someone other than a certified decontamination specialist may receive a green “warning” placard advising occupants that the house may potentially be contaminated, but we cannot verify the sampling methods or test accuracy so the home should undergo further testing.

While a green placard places no legal restrictions on entry or use of the house, we strongly advise consulting with a certified decontamination specialist before entering or using the property.

A building with a sign in front. A building with a sign in front.

Salt Lake County Health Department

Our mission at the Salt Lake County Health Department is to promote and protect the health of our community and environment. We work tirelessly every day to prevent illness, injury, and disease while addressing social, economic, and environmental factors that impact overall health. Our efforts include immunizing children, inspecting restaurants, preventing tobacco access to minors, encouraging physical activity and proper nutrition, protecting our water and air, providing culturally appropriate services, and collaborating with our community partners to ensure public health works for all residents of Salt Lake County, regardless of where they live.