Housing and Nuisance Abatement

The purpose of the Miami County Public Health Housing and Nuisance Program is to protect the community against public health housing or nuisance conditions that could adversely affect the health and welfare of persons in the community. Some examples of nuisance and housing conditions may include improper storage of garbage; accumulation of animal wastes; rodents; sewage odors or presence of sewage on the ground; dilapidated living conditions and lack of heat in a residence.  Housing and nuisance complaints within the city limits of Piqua should be referred to Piqua Health Department at 937-778-2060.

A concerned citizen should take the following two steps prior to filing a formal complaint with Miami County Public Health:

1.  Ask yourself if the nuisance condition is health related.  The enforcement ability of Miami County Public Health is limited to conditions which threaten the public health.  A condition may certainly be a nuisance to you, but it may not be a public health nuisance.  

2.  Address your concerns to the offending party, and try to work out a solution directly.  If you are a tenant in a rental unit, address your concerns first with the landlord.  If you attempt to resolve the problem in this way, but are unsuccessful, then it may be appropriate to file a complaint.

 

A complaint must be submitted online or in writing before it can be investigated.  Citizen complaints are not accepted over the telephone.  Exceptions are made for emergency situations such as a total loss of heat in a rental unit during freezing conditions.

 

The information submitted on the complaint form is considered public information and subject to review or release to any requesting party.

 

The complaint form should be filled out in full. Anonymous complaints are not accepted. It is important the inspecting sanitarian be able to contact the complainant if more information is needed.  Complaints are generally investigated in the order in which they are received.  Turnaround time is usually a week to ten days, but may be less, depending on the number of complaints received.  Heating complaints will be given immediate attention if it is an emergency.

 

Once a nuisance complaint is filed with our office it becomes a public record.  Anyone may obtain a copy of a complaint file upon request. 

 

If the complaint is a public health housing or nuisance complaint, the complaint will be investigated.  If the complaint falls outside of Miami County Public Health’s ability to regulate such complaint, the complainant will be notified. Typically, we can direct the complainant to the proper agency for assistance.

 

Investigation of Complaints

A complaint investigation is performed by a Miami County Public Health sanitarian and is usually initiated with an inspection of the property or facility.  Unannounced inspections are preferred whenever possible so that representative conditions can be observed.  The complainant’s presence will usually be necessary during the investigation of a housing complaint and may need to be scheduled so that the sanitarian can gain access to the home.  

The sanitarian will attempt to determine if the complaint is valid, or invalid.  Such a determination will be based mainly on observations at the site.  Hearsay is not evidence, but the sanitarian will consider information provided by the complainant and other parties.  Once the sanitarian has gathered sufficient evidence and a determination has been made regarding the validity of the complaint, a complaint will be marked “valid” or “invalid” The complaint is invalid if there is no public health housing or nuisance condition and there are no violations of regulations, or of applicable State laws.  If a complaint is invalid, then it will be closed.  A complaint will be marked “valid” if there is a public health nuisance condition or if there is a violation of Miami County Public Health’s regulations, or of applicable State laws.  If a complaint is valid the sanitarian will determine the appropriate course of action required to abate the public health nuisance.

 

Some complaint resolutions take longer than others.  There are some complaints that end up in a court of law, others get resolved immediately upon request. Please allow us sufficient time to properly address the complaint. 

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