The Grade II listed hotel stands next to Clevedon Pier
A notice has been served on the owners of The Royal Pier Hotel in Clevedon forcing them to carry out about £40,000 of urgent work to protect the building.
The notice, served on 30 November, requires the listed former hotel to be protected from wind and rain and made safe against intruders.
The terms of the notice means work must be carried out within three weeks or North Somerset Council will step in.
There was a fire in the hotel in 2003 and it has stood empty since 2006.
Councillor Elfan Ap Rees said:"We have been more than patient with those responsible for looking after this building.
"I know local residents are fed up with the apparent lack of action."
Convert to flats
The hotel was built in 1869 to serve visitors coming to Clevedon on the steamers which sailed across from Wales and other resorts on the Severn Estuary.
It was given Grade II listed status in 2001 and stands next to Clevedon Pier which is Grade I listed.
In 2006 the owners were given planning permission to convert it into 27 flats but the work was not carried out.
The planning permission was not implemented and has since expired.
The urgent works notice has been designed with English Heritage and will consist of temporary scaffolding, roof covering, boarding up of windows and removal of dead birds and droppings.
English Heritage has contributed a grant towards the cost of dealing with case as part of its Buildings at Risk programme.