What does "Rehabilitated" mean

Not for you ex-alcoholics or former junkies. What does “rehabilitated” mean in connection to Real Property.

Make like it was before, I believe.


A “nicer”, more sophisticated, way to say a fixer-upper flip.


A home that’s barely hanging on by a thread, ready to crumble at any moment. A smorgasbord of “renovations” and “improvements” piled on one after another without any account for safety or health?

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Code for: Beware Flippers has been here.


To me it means to return a property to its original condition without major alterations such as additions, changes in floor plan etc.

Very similar to restoration.


The term is subjective. To many investors/flippers it means using sufficient lipstick to present the home is a better light. To others (investors as well as others) it means to repair any issues found that make the home less safe or habitable. To some it may mean repair/renovate a home to current standards and desires of current buyers/homeowners.

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Restoring real property to an improved state.
The act or process of making possible a compatible use for a property through repair, alterations, and additions.


All good definitions, but used in the context of a government requirement the definition has to be more documented than those.

The following definition appears in the 2018 IEBC (International Existing Building Codes):

REHABILITATION. Any work, as described by the categories
of work defined herein, undertaken in an existing building .

Further reading reveals Chapter 6 defines the categories of work. Most are as you might surmise related to building or restoring some aspect of the physical structure. The one that is most important to me however, and that got my attention is:

605.1 Scope. Change of occupancy provisions apply where the activity is classified as a change of occupancy as defined in Chapter 2. [see [A] below]

So chapter 2 reveals (gotta’ love the way they write these things!)

[A] CHANGE OF OCCUPANCY. A change in the use of a building or a portion of a building that results in any of the following:

  1. A change of occupancy classification.
  2. A change from one group to another group within an occupancy classification.
  3. Any change in use within a group for which there is a change in application of the requirements of this code.

Back to Chapter 6
605.2 Application. Changes of occupancy shall comply with
the provisions of Chapter 10.

On to Chapter 10:

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