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Property Standards

The Property Standards By-law (936) sets standards of maintenance and occupancy for all properties located in the Town of Essex.

All property owners are required to repair and maintain their property according to these standards, including owners of rental residential properties, unless there is an agreement between the property owner and a lessee or occupant that assigns maintenance and repair responsibility to the lessee or occupant.

Standards contained in the by-law

The following list contains five of the standards outlined in the bylaw:

  • All structures are required to be structurally sound and all exterior walls, roofs and foundations are required to be free of water leaks and painted or otherwise treated or waterproofed.
  • The interior of all buildings must have an adequate level of lighting.
  • All heating, plumbing, mechanical systems and elevating devices must be maintained and operational in good working order.
  • Residential occupancies must comply with minimum requirements regarding room dimensions, ceiling heights, ventilation, potable water and an adequate supply of hot water.
  • All exterior property areas shall be kept clear of inoperative or derelict vehicles, garbage, junk, debris, construction material and other objects that may cause health or safety hazards or are not kept up to community standards.

To report a property standards violation, contact the Building Department. Contact information is provided in the contact box on this page.

Property standards violations

When a complaint is received, an Essex property standards officer will conduct an investigation. If a violation is found, the officer can issue a property standards order, advising the owner of the violation and requiring that it be remedied within a specific time period.

Owners have the right to appeal to our Property Standards Committee if they are not satisfied with the terms of the order. The committee can uphold the order, rescind the order, or modify the length of time the owner has to comply with the order.

If an owner fails to comply with a property standards order, we may initiate action to complete necessary repairs or work required in the order. Any costs associated with our work on the property will be applied to the tax rolls of the subject property.

In addition, we may initiate legal action against any person who fails to comply with a property standards order. The maximum fine for non-compliance with a property standards order is $25,000 for an individual and $50,000 for a corporation.