Chapter 156: Property Maintenance Code

Ch 156


Chapter 156: Property Maintenance Code applies to all existing residential and nonresidential structures and all existing premises. It represents the minimum requirements and standards for premises, structures, equipment, and facilities. Including essential factors such as light, ventilation, space, heating, sanitation, protection from the elements, life safety, safety from fire, the code also identifies the responsibilities of various stakeholders—owners, operators, and occupants—in maintaining safe and sanitary conditions. 

Louisville Metro Government is committed to promoting safe, clean housing and neighborhoods. Understanding the law and its implications for your rights and those of your neighbors is crucial for personal safety. 

Below outlines some general areas and the duties and responsibilities that must be followed by tenants and property owners. To read Chapter 156 in full, click here.


Bathroom code


RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY OWNERS must provide the following:

  • Bathroom privacy (must have a door and walls)
  • A flush toilet
  • A bathroom tub or shower
  • Adequate bathroom light and ventilation
  • Flooring shall be composed of water-resistant materials and be impervious to water damage

TENANTS are responsible for the care and cleanliness of the bathroom and its equipment.

Cleanliness Code


PROPERTY OWNERS are required to keep shared or public areas clean.

PROPERTY OWNERS and TENANTS are required to keep their individual premises clean and free from the infestation of insects, rodents and other pests.


Electricity code


RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY OWNERS are required to provide:

  • Approved electrical systems capable of supplying safe and adequate electrical service to the property
  • Dwelling units shall be served by a three-wired, 120/240-volt, single phase electrical service having a rating of not less than 60 amperes
  • Every laundry area shall contain at least one grounded-type receptacle or a receptacle with a ground fault circuit interrupter
  • Every bathroom shall contain at least one receptacle. Any new or replaced bathroom receptacle outlet shall have ground fault circuit interrupter protection
  • All habitable space shall contain at least two separate and remote receptacle outlets
  • A service panel with proper over-current devices (fuses or circuit breakers)
  • Wiring that is insulated properly and in safe condition

TENANTS should be extremely careful when using the electrical system. Frequent blown fuses, burnt circuit breakers, sparks from outlets and/or fixtures, and wire that is hot to the touch indicate electrical problems and need to be immediately repaired.

Check your home for the following common electrical violations:

  • Makeshift or temporary wiring
  • Electric cords under rugs or other floor coverings
  • Frayed or bare wires
  • Cords placed through walls or doorways
  • Hanging cords or wires
  • Excess or faulty fuses (pennies or other metal materials used under fuses are illegal and extremely dangerous)
Maintenance code


RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY OWNERS are required to maintain each house or apartment they live in or offer for rent in a safe, weather tight, watertight and rodent controlled condition. In addition, the Existing Structures Code requires the following:


  • No rafters rotten, broken, or sagging
  • No rotted, loose, or sagging porches or decking
  • No roof covering with holes, leaks, or deterioration
  • No excessive leaning, bulging, or settling of fireplaces or chimneys
  • No unprotected stove or vent pipes running through combustible walls or ceilings

Exterior/Interior Walls

  • No exterior or interior walls, partitions, or other vertical supports broken, split, leaning, or buckling
  • All exterior siding weather tight with no holes, excessive cracks, or rotted boards
  • All exterior walls painted or provided with other protective covering


  • No deteriorated, cracked, or structurally inadequate foundation walls
  • No rotted, termite damaged, broken, or sagging sills or joists
  • Floor must be reasonably level, smooth, weather tight, and free of holes, loose boards, excessive cracks, or rotted or worn-through sections

Stairs/Protective Railings

  • Stairs structurally safe with no excessive wear, warping, holes, or cracks
  • Handrails structurally safe and firmly fastened

TENANTS are responsible for seeing that all interior and exterior conditions are kept safe and clean. Exit ways and stairs should be kept free from obstructions such as trash, toys, boxes, etc. Damage caused either intentionally or through neglect on the part of the tenant may be the tenant's responsibility.


Heat code


PROPERTY OWNERS are responsible for providing and maintaining sufficient and safe heating facilities. In addition, the Existing Structures Code requires:

  • From October 1 to May 1 must maintain a temperature of not less than 65 degrees (°F) in habitable rooms, bathrooms and toilet rooms
  • A minimum room temperature of 60 degrees (°F) shall be maintained at all times when the outside temperature falls below 0 degrees (°F)
  • The room temperature measurement shall be measured 3 ft. above the floor near the center of the room and 2 ft. inward from the center of each exterior wall

TENANTS are responsible for maintaining all heating equipment in a safe and clean condition and keeping the area free of flammable materials.

cars code


PROPERTY OWNERS and TENANTS must make sure that the following conditions are met:

  • Vehicles are permitted to park in the required front or side yard only on a hard surface or approved semi-pervious driveway that does not exceed 20 ft. in width and that leads to a garage, carport, house, or rear yard
  • Vehicles must be parked on hard/durable surfaces such as blacktop or concrete and not on dirt or grass
  • No vehicle may be parked on a vacant lot
  • No inoperable or unlicensed motor vehicles shall be parked, kept or stored on any premise (vehicles may be stored in garage or carport with three sides)
  • No vehicle shall at any time be in a state of major disassembly, disrepair, or in the process of being stripped or dismantled
  • Painting of vehicles is prohibited unless conducted inside an approved spray booth
  • The parking of heavy trucks in residential areas is strictly prohibited
  • Heavy trucks are trucks, including truck trailers and similar vehicles with two or more rear axles

OWNER OF THE VEHICLE and OWNER OF THE PROPERTY are responsible for preventing and correcting this violation.


kitchen code


PROPERTY OWNERS must provide the following:

  • A kitchen sink with hot and cold water
  • A stove (or space and connections for installation)
  • A refrigerator (or space and connections for installation) capable of the safe storage of food at temperatures less than 50 degrees (°F), but more that 32 degrees (°F) under maximum summer conditions
  • Cabinets and/or shelves for the storage of dishes, utensils and food
  • Flooring shall be composed of water-resistant materials and be impervious to water damage

TENANTS are responsible for the care and cleanliness of the kitchen including the stove, refrigerator and all other appliances.

light code


PROPERTY OWNERS are required to provide:

  • Adequate ventilation in every habitable room
  • One or more windows which can be easily opened directly to the outdoors in every habitable room
  • Ceiling light fixtures in every bathroom, basement, public hallway or other area where artificial light is necessary for the safety and welfare of the occupants

PROPERTY OWNERS and TENANTS are required to see that window glass is not broken out or boarded. Broken windows and missing inoperable light bulbs are violations of the Existing Structures Code.


Fire code


PROPERTY OWNERS are required to provide the following:

  • Working smoke detectors
  • Safe exits leading directly to open space at ground level; exit ways must not pass from one dwelling unit through another

TENANTS are responsible for the following:

  • Keeping all hallways, stairways, fire escapes and exits clear of storage, junk, rubbish and garbage at all times
  • Checking smoke detectors periodically to ensure batteries are installed and the device is operating properly
Overcrowding code


The Existing Structures Code prohibits the overcrowding of people into apartments or houses by tenants, landlords and homeowners, by requiring that:

  • A minimum share of habitable floor space for each occupant living in a dwelling unit be provided. 
  • For example, 150 square feet is required for the first occupant and 100 additional square feet is required for each additional occupant.

For SI: one square foot = 0.093 m2 a. See subsection (E)(2) for combined living room/dining room spaces. b. See subsection (E)(1) for limitations on determining the minimum occupancy area for sleeping purposes.


water code


PROPERTY OWNERS are responsible for the following:

  • Hot and cold running water
  • Plumbing equipment connected to city water and approved sewer systems
  • Water heater properly installed, vented and in a safe location
Yard code


PROPERTY OWNERS are required to keep shared or public areas of a yard clean and free from safety, health and fire hazards.

PROPERTY OWNERS and TENANTS of single-family dwellings are required to keep their yard clean and free from safety, health, or fire hazards. All premises shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of 10 inches. Grass should be kept cut and bushes trimmed. Trees should be trimmed and kept away from houses and power lines, and all dead wood should be removed.

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