Substandard Structures

The City of Texarkana, Texas is committed to the abatement of vacant property found to be unsafe, substandard and / or unsecured.

Chapter 5, Article III., of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Texarkana, Texas, states that all unsafe buildings and structures within the terms of this article are hereby declared public nuisances and illegal.

The code requires the owner of the building or structure secure all doors, windows, and structural openings of said premises to prevent access by unauthorized persons.

Conditions of Substandard Structures

  • The building, structure, or any part thereof is liable to partially or fully collapse.
  • The building, structure, or any part thereof was constructed or maintained in violation of any provision of the city's building code, or any other applicable ordinance or law of the city, county, state, or federal government. Residential structures are evaluated according to the 2003 International Property Maintenance Code.
  • Any wall or other vertical structural members list, lean, or buckle to such extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity falls outside the middle third of its base.
  • The foundation or the vertical or horizontal supporting members are 25% or more damaged or deteriorated.
  • The non-supporting coverings of walls, ceilings, roofs, or floors are 50% or more damaged or deteriorated.
  • All buildings or structures of which the floors, walls, ceilings, and all supporting members are not capable of bearing imposed loads safely.
  • The building, structure, or any part thereof has been damaged by fire, water, earthquake, wind, vandalism, or other cause to such an extent that it has become dangerous to the public health, safety, and welfare.
  • The building, structure, or any part thereof has inadequate means of egress as required by the city's building code.
  • The building or structure does not have adequate light, ventilation, or sanitation facilities as required by the city's building code and plumbing code.
  • All buildings or structures not wired so as to provide in operating condition electrical circuits sufficient to safely carry a load imposed by normal use of appliances and fixtures.
  • All buildings or structures which constitute or in which are maintained a fire hazard as that term is defined by the ordinances of the city.
  • All buildings or structures in noncompliance with the requirements of the city's building code, electrical code, plumbing code, fire code, or other applicable codes of the city such that said buildings or structures constitute a menace or hazard to the public health or safety.
  • All buildings or structures so dilapidated or substandard as to be unfit for human habitation and a hazard to the public health, safety, and welfare.
  • All buildings or structures so deteriorated, constructed, or permitted to be constructed, as to constitute a menace to the health or safety, including all conditions conducive to the harboring of rats, mice, or other disease-carrying animals or insects, reasonably calculated to spread disease, including such conditions hazardous to safety as inadequate bracing or use of deteriorated materials.
  • All buildings or structures, regardless of their structural condition, which are unoccupied by their owners, lessees, or other invitees, and are unsecured from unauthorized entry to the extent they could be entered or used by vagrants or other uninvited persons as a place of harborage, or could be entered or used by children.

Response to Substandard Structure

Any substandard building or structure is subject to be taken before the Texarkana, Texas Building and Standard Commission or municipal court. The Texarkana, Texas Building and Standards Commission is empowered to order the repairs of the building and structure on the property to meet code specifications or, in the alternative, to order the demolition of any unsafe building or structure found to exist.