Avoid Vacant Building Problems

One of the best ways to avoid problems with vacant buildings is to keep them from becoming vacant. At SDCI we’ve seen an increasing number of homes and other structures go vacant while applicants wait for their development permits to be issued. We’ve also seen an increasing number of these structures broken into by trespassers, and frequently squatters occupy the buildings. Boarding up the doors and windows and fencing the site can become a huge expense, and frequently the break-ins continue, which requires you to board the structure again. We see frequent evidence of drug use in these structures, with used syringes and other hazards left behind. It paints a costly picture.

If you are about to enter the redevelopment permitting process, we encourage you to talk with us about options for keeping existing tenants in the building until just before your permits are ready to issue. If your building has rental housing units, our Property Owner and Tenant Assistance group can help you navigate the tenant relocation process so that the timing of your move out notices coincides with your permitting schedule. You can reach the POTA group by calling our main Code Compliance number at (206) 615-0808.

Sometimes when you acquire a property, it is already vacant. If the structure is in good shape, you might consider working with a group like Weld Seattle or Mary’s Place. These non-profit organizations can sometimes place residents in your buildings. The residents may be members or guests or caretakers under the umbrella of the non-profit. The building must be in a livable condition, and Weld Seattle can work on timelines as short as six months. Mary’s place usually looks for longer-term placements, but has options for many different kinds of buildings. Learn more about Mary’s Place and check out Weld Seattle.