If you suspect someone is building or renovating a structure without a required permit, you have several options:
You can review regulations about work exempt from permit:
Has a permit been issued?
- You can search for permits online. Type only the house number and street name, e.g. 555 Liberty rather than 555 Liberty St NE.
- You can contact the Permit Application Center to verify the existence of a permit.
How can you report a problem?
- You can contact the Permit Application Center to start an investigation.
- You will be required to provide your name and contact information. Anonymous complaints will not be investigated.
- Building activity must be visible from the public right-of-way in order to be investigated.
Investigations may be started for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:
- Citizen complaint
- Compliance Services report
- Inspector report
- Individual self-reports
Investigating a complaint
When a complaint is received, a Compliance Liaison is assigned to investigate and verify that a violation exists.
If the Compliance Liaison determines that a violation exists, all communications about correcting the situation will be made with the property owner.
Where possible, the Compliance Liaison and the property owner will work together informally to establish the compliance steps that must be taken and a reasonable timeline. Generally, a property owner can expect to have 14 calendar days to make the required corrections.
A written correction notice may be issued at any point in the investigation. The correction notice will include:
Investigation fees may be imposed when the required permits are obtained.
Failure to comply with a correction notice will lead to the following:
- An Enforcement order for compliance. Generally, the enforcement order requires compliance within 15 calendar days.
- Continued failure to comply will result in civil penalties which may be up to $2,000 per violation per day.
Civil penalties are issued to the property. Unpaid penalties can adversely affect the sale of a property.