Code Enforcement 101

Who is Code Enforcement?

Code enforcement is part of your municipal government. It serves the purpose of enforcing the state and local ordinances, and maintaining a clean, safe and healthy living environment for the citizens.

The code compliance arm of the government will issue building permits for new construction and for renovation of existing buildings. It also monitors and ensures that every property is being kept up and there aren’t violations of the municipal code.

What Does Code Enforcement Look For?

Every municipality adopts and enforces slightly different code compliance requirements. In most locations, code violations can be categorized as either a nuisance violation or a maintenance violation.

Nuisance Violation

Generally speaking, a nuisance code violation is anything that is an eyesore to your neighborhood. If your property is the “ugly one” on the street, and your yard is full of junk, you may be qualifying yourself for a nuisance violation. Typical reasons for this citation include:

  • Grass over a certain length
    • Different municipalities have different names for this. These may include high weeds, overgrown grass, tall grass, or long vegetation
  • Trash in your yard
  • Cars parked on improper surfaces
  • Inoperable vehicles (yes, if your car is on cinder blocks, this might be you)
  • Overgrown bushes of hedges
  • Furniture or appliances intended for indoor use that are used outside
  • Vacant home and vacant dwelling
  • Abandoned house and abandoned property

Maintenance Violation

A maintenance violation usually relates to the deterioration of a building as a safe and healthy place to live. Often times, this is more about the exterior condition of the building than about the use or look of the overall property. Violations of this type might include:

  • Peeling, flaking or loose paint
  • Loose or non-functional gutters
  • General disrepair of the property
  • Potentially unsafe conditions inside the property
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