Enforcing Building Code Violations

With almost $11 million in unpaid fines, the city of Tallahassee may get tougher with property owners who violate building codes.

Last week, the city upheld a record fine against a home near FSU with unpaid fines. The house needed to be painted and the roof needed attention. A call from a neighbor brought city inspector Karl Pulvermuller out to investigate.

Pulvermuller spends much of his day behind the wheel, following up on citizen complaints. “Many times you’ll have a person complain about a neighbor and their yard is as bad or worse as one they’re complaining about.” Said Pulvermuller.

Last week, the municipal code enforcement board upheld a record fine on the College Avenue home, $20,000 and giving the property owner just five days to pay or be forced to pay even more.

City Commissioner Andrew Gillum wants the city to get serious about enforcing fines. The commission and code enforcement board has to take a tougher stance in order for people to see this issue as a serious issue. The city says it is not about making money, rather it is about making people follow the rules.

It is all about compliance, all about keeping the neighborhood up, keeping Tallahassee beautiful. Usually, property owners request that fines be waived once properties are brought into compliance. That is what the owner of the College Avenue property wants, but since the fines accrued over almost two years, the code board took a tough stance.