Morgantown residents advised to keep up with property maintenance

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —¬†Morgantown’s new ordinance restricting indoor furniture on porches and lawns will be among property codes discussed at a seminar Wednesday, April 15.

Morgantown residents are subject to fines if officers find couches, recliners and other indoor furniture outside.

“Anything that’s upholstered and designed for the interior of the house is not allowed to be outside in the yard or on an open porch,” explained Michael Stone, Morgantown’s Chief Code Officer. “Now, if you have an enclosed porch, that’s fine. But, if it’s where the weather can get to it, rain, snow, bugs and all the other animals that want to crawl in it, that’s illegal.”

Property owners and landlords are invited to the city’s first property maintenance seminar at 1:30 p.m. in city hall council chambers tomorrow.

Stone said his office is fielding calls about city eyesores.

“The complaints are already starting to come in about trash and debris and high weeds and brush.”

The seminar is an educational session for property owners before officers start issuing citations for code violations.

Attendees will learn about the price they’ll pay if they don’t keep up with things as routine as clipping their lawns. For example, grass has to be kept under ten inches according to city code.

“You will have to go to court and the fine can be up to $500 but a minimum of $50. And, that’s the same with garbage and debris on the property or pulling over the curb and creating ruts in the yard,” Stone explained.

Stone said warnings are issued one time for a complaint each year. Landlords, property owners, or even renters if their lease states certain property maintenance is their responsibility, could receive fines if they don’t comply with the orders of a warning.

“Maybe the porch roof is falling in or dilapidated or the posts are weak or rotted away. A lot of times we’ll see bricks falling off the chimney. Those are all property maintenance problems that need to be repaired.”

Many notices give 20 days for repairs to be made or have the problem under contract for repair before a citation could be issued.