Property Maintenance Division


Topeka Municipal Code Chapter 8.65 (Registration of properties that are subject to mortgage foreclosure proceedings)

The City has terminated its contract with the entity responsible for administering the registration requirement on behalf of the City – Property Registration Champions, LLC (“ProChamps”). At this time, the City is not enforcing the registration requirement for mortgaged properties so there is no duty to register, renew or modify the registration. If you have questions, contact the City Attorney’s office at 785-368-3883.

The Property Maintenance Unit

The Property Maintenance Unit (PMU) is located in the Cyrus K. Holiday Building located at 620 SE Madison, 1st floor. The PMU is dedicated to protecting the public’s health, safety, and welfare through education, community engagement, and equitable enforcement of city codes and regulations as adopted by the governing body. The PMU works in collaboration with other City staff and community partners to improve housing inventory, community appearance and community growth by enforcing the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) as adopted by the governing body. The IPMC establishes minimum maintenance standards for basic equipment, light, ventilation, heating, sanitation and fire safety for existing residential and nonresidential structures and premises.  The responsibility is fixed among property owners, operators and occupants. The IPMC provides for the regulation and safe use of existing structures in the interest of the social and economic welfare of the community. Responsible parties may contact the PMU with specific questions at 785-368-3161.

Complaints regarding properties can be filed by: When a complaint is received, a Code Official will schedule an inspection within 48 hours to determine if a violation exists. If a violation exists, the property owner will be contacted by mail, phone or in-person as deemed appropriate by the Code Official for the circumstances. Due Process requires that all property owners to be notified when complaints have been validated by the Code Official. The property owner or responsible party will be given a reasonable time frame to remedy the violation as permitted by City ordinances and State Statute. Reasonable expectations of time frames for resolving a violation will vary from the time of the complaint due to legal notification requirements, City ordinances and State statute. Possible best case scenario time lines if there is not voluntary compliance on the part of the owner are:
  • Graffiti - 24 hours with a signed consent
  • Inoperable vehicles - 21 days
  • Sanitation - 21 days
  • Housing - 4-6 months
  • Unsafe structures – 6-12 months
  • Weeds - 14 days
The Property Maintenance Code Unit includes:
  • Unit Director for day-to-day operations
  • Filed Supervisor
  • 8 Code Officials
  • 2-person Abatement Crew
  • Special Structure Staff
  • Administrative Support Staff
An administrative hearing officer conducts impartial hearings requested by property owners after receipt of a violation notice as provided by IPMC. Hearings are held twice a month.
The Unsafe Structures Code addresses structures that are unfit for human habitation or use and are unsafe due to dilapidation or other conditions that are injurious to the welfare of Topeka residents. Approximately 30-40 structures are demolished each year either by the city or by the property owner.
The IPMC provisions apply to all existing residential and nonresidential structures and constitute the minimum requirements and standards for those premises. Standards are set for premises, structures, equipment, lighting, ventilation, space, heating, sanitation and protection from the elements. Other issues include life and fire safety, and provisions are set forth as to the responsibility of owners, operators and occupants.
Sanitation violations can include such things as blight, garbage, rubbish, inoperative and unlicensed vehicles, unsecured vacant buildings, brush piles and other conditions that degrade neighborhood appearances and cause harborage for rats, mice and snakes. Items which are considered sanitation items include tires, upholstered furniture and carpeting, mattresses, box springs, cardboard boxes, scrap lumber and scrap metal, vehicle parts, appliances, stagnant water (untreated pools) and any item not intended to be outside or not weather proof. A Violation Notice will be sent notifying the recipient of the observed violation and other applicable information. If the violation is not corrected, the City will abate the nuisance and charge the property owner for all associated abatement costs including administrative and penalty fees. The property owner will be given a minimum of 10 days from the date of the notice to correct the violation or request an administrative hearing.
All weeds, grass or uncultivated vegetation observed more than twelve (12) inches in height is prohibited by code. Once a violation is authenticated, a notice will be sent to the property owner who has 10 calendar days to cut the vegetation. If the vegetation is not cut within the allotted time frame, the property owner will receive a penalty bill. If a City contractor is forced to cut the property, the owner will be responsible for all abatement fees and a penalty fee. If a property is in violation more than once during the calendar year, the property owner may continue to receive penalty bills. Only one violation notice per calendar year is sent out per property. Property owners are responsible for grass/weeds/vegetation in abutting easements, ditches, alleys and right-of-ways. The IPMC does not include brush, bushes or trees.
PMC performs graffiti abatement through coverage or removal. This service is provided free to property owners who sign a consent form, which is available online and may be faxed or mailed to the office or one can also be obtained in person at The Property Maintenance office located at 620 SE Madison, 1st floor. The consent form can also be accessed by the following link: Graffiti Consent Form. Graffiti is a misdemeanor if it is not removed.
Standards of measurement for inoperable vehicles include missing windshields, flat tires, no tires, up on jacks, unlicensed/untagged, missing engine/motor or wrecked. Notification is sent to the property owner. Non-compliance will result in the vehicle being towed. Any vehicle on a property must be operable, tagged and parked legally. Problem vehicles or abandoned vehicles on public streets are a police issue and callers should contact the police department at 785-368-9551.
The PMU now has a Housing Navigator. The Housing Navigator is tasked with identifying alternative paths for homeowners with medical or financial hardships who are in need of resources to bring their property into compliance with existing codes. It will be the responsibility of the Housing Navigator to review submissions, conduct comprehensive interviews, and define what resources or grants fit the needs of the homeowner. The Housing navigator shall work in conjunction with the Code Official, Court Services, the DEI Office, and Housing Services among other community partners to provide our community with quality customer service and necessary resources in a responsible, equitable manner to adequately address the needs of our property owners. The Housing Navigator can be reached at