NORWAY — The Board of Selectmen agreed Thursday night to sign an order that prohibits the occupancy of a four-unit apartment building at 9 King St.
The action was taken under the Rental Occupancy Ordinance, which was amended in June by voters to put more teeth in it.
The owner of the property is Western Highland LLC of Portland.
The order was based on testimony and other evidence presented at a June 18 compliance hearing. At that time it was determined that life-safety violations had not been brought up to code. Those violations included not updating smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors; the basement bulkhead was not repaired or adequately covered; ceilings in two units were not repaired; and the ground fault wiring was not functioning properly.
Additionally, a separate agency representing a tenant had repeatedly asked for handrails to be provided to a second floor unit and they were never installed.
The order does not require an eviction because the two remaining tenants will be voluntarily leaving.
Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman requested the board sign the document she will now file with the Oxford County Registry of Deeds. That action ensures that any future owner of the property understands there is an outstanding order against occupancy in the building.
“It actually does work,” Corey-Whitman said of the rental ordinance.
Voters in June agreed to update the ordinance to require stricter standards for housing inspections and allow the code enforcement officer to issue, enforce or revoke the occupancy permits.
Board members praised Corey-Whitman's work and the success of the town's Rental Occupancy Ordinance.
“It's making buildings safe,” Selectman Bill Damon said. “It's important to make it safe for the children. Adults should know better.”