Property Maintenance Code
The International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) is adopted by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) every three (3) years. Virginia Maintenance Code requires buildings, structures, exterior areas and systems to be maintained in accordance with the requirements of the current maintenance code and when applicable, in accordance with the USBC under which such building or structure was constructed. The property maintenance code does not require alterations to be made to existing structures, buildings or systems unless there is an unsafe or unfit condition. This code delineates the minimum requirements and condition standards for premises, structures, equipment and facilities for light, ventilation, space, heating, sanitation, protection from the elements, life safety, safety from fire and other hazards, and for safe and sanitary maintenance; the responsibility of owners, operators and occupants, the occupancy of existing structures and premises, and for administration, enforcement and penalties.
Property Maintenance Workflow (PDF)
Requests for an Extension
Extensions for the time allowed for correction of violations of the USBC may be granted if necessary repairs are temporarily delayed due to practical difficulties. A written request addressed to the Code Compliance Division, including the address of the property, brief explanation of why an extension is being requested and a reasonable estimated time frame for when the completion of repairs will be made must be received before the time allowed for compliance has expired.
- Maintenance Requirement
- General Requirements
- Light, Ventilation & Occupancy
- Plumbing, Mechanical & Electrical
- Fire Safety Requirements
Maintenance Requirement for Existing Dwellings, Buildings & Properties
The following excerpts from the maintenance provisions of the USBC are not complete or intended to be all-inclusive. Virginia Maintenance Code requires buildings, structures and systems to be maintained in accordance with the requirements of the current maintenance code and when applicable, in accordance with the USBC under which such building or structure was constructed. The property maintenance code does not require alterations to be made to existing structures, buildings or systems unless there is an unsafe or unfit condition.
Exterior Property Areas
All accessory structures, including detached garages, fences and walls shall be maintained structurally in good repair.
Swimming Pools, Spas & Hot Tub Enclosures
Private pools, spas, and hot tubs shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code or ordinance under which such barriers were constructed. Pools must be kept clean and sanitary and in good repair.
Exterior of Structure
Exterior Protective Treatment
All wood and metal surfaces shall be maintained in good condition. Peeling, flaking, and chipped paints shall be eliminated and surfaces repainted.
Identifying address numbers on the building shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code or when required by ordinance. Street address of habitable structures or places of business- City Ordinance Link
Shall be maintained plumb and free from open cracks and breaks and shall be kept in a condition so as to prevent the entry of rodents and other pests.
Shall be free of holes, breaks and loose or rotting materials; maintained weatherproof and properly surface-coated where required to prevent deterioration.
Roofs & Drainage
Roof and flashing shall be sound, tight, and not have defects that admit rain.
All cornices, terra cotta trim, wall facing and similar decorative features shall be maintained in good repair.
Shall be maintained structurally safe, sound and in good repair. Exposed surfaces of metal and wood shall be protected against the elements by surface treatment to prevent decay or rust.
Handrails & Guards
Every handrail and guard shall be firmly fastened and capable of supporting normally imposed loads and shall be maintained in good condition.
Windows & Door Frames
Shall be maintained to be weather tight.
Al glazing material shall be maintained free of cracks and holes.
Every window, other than a fixed window, shall be easily openable and capable of being held in position by window hardware.
All exterior doors and hardware shall be maintained in good condition.
Structural members shall be maintained structurally sound, and be capable of supporting the imposed loads.
Interior surfaces, including windows and doors, shall be maintained in good, clean and sanitary condition. Peeling, chipping, flaking paint shall be repaired, removed or covered. Cracked or loose plaster, decayed wood and other defective surface conditions shall be corrected.
Stairs and Walking Surfaces
Every stair, ramp, landing, balcony, porch, deck or other walking surface shall be maintained in sound condition and good repair.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Shall be maintained as approved.
Rubbish and Garbage
The interior of every structure shall be free from excessive accumulation of rubbish or garbage.
Light and Ventilation
Every habitable space, hallway, stairway and bathroom shall be maintained to provide natural or artificial light to the extent required when built or provided in accordance with the applicable building code.
Every habitable space, hallway, stairway and bathroom shall be maintained to provide natural or mechanical ventilation to the extent required when built or provided in accordance with the applicable building code.
The provisions of Section 404 of the Virginia Maintenance Code that address construction aspects of occupancy limitations shall apply only to the extent that such requirements were part of the applicable building code when constructed or altered under permit. Operational requirements such as the use of rooms or minimum areas per occupant are part of this code and only to the extent that they do not require alterations to made to the building.
Spaces to be used for food preparation purposes shall contain suitable space and equipment to store, prepare and serve foods in a sanitary manner. There shall be adequate facilities and services for the sanitary disposal of food wastes and refuse, including facilities for temporary storage.
Systems and Fixtures
Required or provided plumbing systems and facilities shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code.
Heating and Cooling Facilities
Heating and cooling facilities shall be maintained and operated in structures as required by section 602 of the Virginia Maintenance Code.
Mechanical equipment, appliances, fireplaces, solid fuel-burning appliances, cooking appliances, chimneys, vents and water heating appliances shall be maintained in compliance with the code under which the appliances, system, or equipment was installed, kept in a safe working condition and capable of performing the intended function.
Required or provided electrical systems and facilities shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code.
Means of Egress
The means of egress system shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code and Chapter 10 of the Statewide Fire Prevention Code to provide safe, continuous, and unobstructed path of travel from any point in a building or structure to the public way.
Fire Protection Systems
Systems, devices, and equipment to detect a fire, actuate and alarm or suppress or control a fire or any combination thereof shall be maintained in an operable condition at all times.