A repairs notice has been served on the owners of Hampshire's last Victorian pier.
South Parade Pier in Portsmouth has been closed since 2012 following safety concerns.
Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said owners Fred Nash and Denise Randall had allowed the "historic monument to fall into disrepair".
Neither owner could be reached for comment.
The council said the notice compels them to "undertake the proper preservation of a building, within a two month timescale".
Ms Jones said: "A repairs notice will produce a schedule of work... this will hopefully reduce everyone's anxieties about the future of the pier."
The essential works are expected to be completed by early 2015.
South Parade Pier opened in 1879, but was destroyed by a fire in 1904 and rebuilt in 1908.
In 1974 it was again wrecked by fire during the filming of the Ken Russell movie Tommy and part of the superstructure was rebuilt.