City of Charleston looking into stricter penalties for abandoned buildings

Published: Jun. 28, 2019 at 11:07 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston officials say the 257 abandoned buildings in the city are not only eyesores but extreme safety hazards.

The city is now working on a way to fix the problem.

City officials say its time to start holding property owners more accountable for maintaining these properties. They say vagrants often go inside and sometimes cause fires and engage in illegal activities.

But it’s been hard to force property owners to board windows or make renovations.

Currently they are creating a task force create stricter penalties.

“We want to ensure that the owners that can afford to take care of the property do so, with sanctions," Charleston Director of Livability Dan Riccio says. "Either criminal or civil. And also offer some type of financial assistance to the impoverished individuals that just simply cannot afford it.”

Currently, property owners are required to make sure the roof is water resistant and the doors and windows are boarded.

The fine for not complying is $1,000.

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