Vacant houses must be registered by November 16th

Fees waived for 2023 for those who register before October 15

PCC staff

Fort Madison – Fort Madison recently adopted a new ordinance requiring all vacant buildings to be registered with the city. This program is designed to ensure that vacant properties are properly maintained. If you own a property that is vacant, you must register your property with the city by November 16th.th2022.
Registration requires a fee, but if you register before October 15th,th, the 2023 registration fee will be waived for 2022. Information and forms for registration can be found at

According to the new ordinance, the owner of a building that has become vacant has 90 days from the date the building becomes vacant, or 30 days after taking ownership of a building that has already been vacant for 60 days. The building owner must be registered on the later date of Property of the City of Fort Madison.

Seized property must be registered within 30 days of filing a “notice of default” or “intention to seize” with the district court. Property owners who fail to register by the deadline are subject to late fees and non-compliant properties are subject to monthly penalties.

Registration with the City of Fort Madison is required for properties meeting the following criteria outlined in the City Code:

Measured by the gross area of ​​the building or all floors of 50% or more of the building, including previously habitable basement spaces that are not in use and meet one or more of the following conditions: (1) According to Lee County Recorder records, the property has been foreclosed. (2) A window or entrance to a building is boarded up or blocked, or one or more doors or windows are broken and not repaired. (3) Doors to buildings that are damaged, smashed, sunken, broken, unhinged, or permanently unlocked. (Four) The building has no gas, electricity or water. (Five) The trash service has been deprecated. (6) Your water service is not using the minimum 100 gallons per month. (7) Accumulation of trash, litter, perishable material, and debris on site. (8) Law enforcement has received at least two reports of trespassing, vandalism, or other illegal activity within the last 12 months. (9) The property’s yard has grass, lawns, weeds, and other vegetation and is not maintained to the minimum required by ordinance or neighborhood general standards. (Ten) The structure meets some or all of the criteria to support action by the City to take ownership under Iowa Code 657A.10B.

The purpose of the Vacant Building Registration Program is essential to properly enforcing the City’s building, fire and zoning laws, and to protect people, property, and the general welfare.

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