Building and Code Enforcement

Typical Code Enforcement Violations

Code Enforcement Inspectors must witness conditions to determine if substandard conditions create violation of a code.

Learn more about the Code Enforcement process.

Code Enforcement Addresses the Following:

  • Structures that are vacant and open to trespass
  • Broken window glass and inoperable windows
  • Missing gutters and downspouts
  • Missing building identification numbers
  • Peeling paint at exterior or interior
  • Missing or loose handrails and guardrails at decks and stairs
  • Dilapidated garages and sheds
  • Abandoned or unprotected swimming pools
  • Broken door and window hardware
  • Holes in walls or ceilings
  • Unstable floor conditions or missing finished floor covering
  • Leaking roofs and flooding basements
  • Inoperable or missing smoke detectors
  • Closed or inoperable restrooms at commercial establishments
  • Inoperable or inadequate heat or hot water
  • Inadequate or inoperable water supply
  • Obstructed toilets, tubs and sinks
  • Leaking faucets and constantly running toilets
  • Overcrowded apartments and homes
  • Illegally created bedrooms and apartments
  • Cracks and openings in exterior walls or foundation
  • Raw sewage and plumbing leaks
  • Inadequate lights at public corridors and stairways
  • Inadequate or inoperative electrical outlets and switches
  • Exposed electrical wires, extensive extension cords
  • Grass or weeds in excess of twelve inches height
  • Impassible streets or sidewalks due to shrub encroachment
  • Tires, garbage, vehicle parts or other exterior stored waste
  • Construction noise

Code Enforcement Does Not Address:

  • Parking issues on lawns or on public streets
  • Speeding vehicles
  • Fences less than six feet in height
  • Retaining walls less than two feet in height
  • Tenant/landlord relations
  • Playground equipment
  • Animal nuisances including leash requirements
  • Pet waste pick-up
  • Recycling
  • Housing voucher inspections and administration
  • Water or air quality issues
  • Mold inspection and testing
  • Broken parking meters
  • Permit parking issues
  • Overcrowding based on the number of unrelated persons
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Unwanted circulars and their schedule of delivery
  • Food safety concerns
  • Live entertainment and dance hall permits
  • Zoning use permits, variances or other special exemptions
  • Fire prevention issues
  • Any public or life safety issues subject to address by the police

Referrals For Assistance Outside of Code Enforcement


Animal Wardens (Complaints) 703-931-9241
Business Licenses 703-228-3060
Citizen and Consumer Affairs 703-228-3260
Dominion Power – Emergency 888-667-3000
Environmental Health (Complaints) 703-228-7400
Fire/EMS Emergency 911
Inspection Services Division (Construction) 703-228-3800
Permit Parking 703-228-7777
Police Non-Emergency 703-558-2222
Police Emergency 911
Refuse Collection 703-228-6570
Tenant-Landlord Commission 703-228-3765
Traffic Signals 703-228-3575
Tree Maintenance and Landscaping 703-228-6527
Washington Gas Light Company 703-750-9500
Water-Sewer Problems 703-228-6555
Zoning Information 703-228-3883

Other Information