Complaints, Investigation, and Compliance
Code enforcement is primarily a complaint-driven process, based on complaints received from a concerned person.
1. A complaint may be received from a concerned person via phone, e-mail, letter, or in person. To remain anonymous, please use the online Code Enforcement Complaint Form.
2. As much detailed information as possible should be provided with the complaint:
- Address of property.
- If no address is available, identify by a nearby address or street.
- Description of property.
- Suspected violations.
- Where suspected violation is located on the property.
Investigation and Notification
Information collected during investigations into code violations is public record subject to Florida Sunshine laws.
- Complaints are inspected in a timely manner, with a priority placed on those complaints most seriously related to health, safety, and welfare.
- Detailed information regarding the complaint is validated and documented with photos, and an inspection is conducted to determine next steps.
- Inspections are always made from a public right-of-way, unless permission is granted by the property owner to come onto the property.
- Inspections are conducted discreetly, keeping the property owner's privacy in mind.
- The Code Compliance Officer will determine if the complaint should be handled by another department or agency, and make the referral if so.
1) Personal contact - Upon validating a complaint, the Officer will reach out to the citizen to inform them of the violation and actions needed for code compliance.
2) Notice of visit door hanger - If the Officer cannot reach the owner or resident, a door hanger will be left explaining the violation, actions needed for compliance, and a time frame to contact the Officer.
3) Notice of violation/notice of hearing - Upon validating a complaint and attempting personal contact and a door hanger, the Officer will send the property owner a notice of violation/notice of hearing via certified mail explaining the violation, actions needed for compliance, and a time frame to contact the Officer. If the violation is not corrected within the time frame, the Officer will send the case to the Code Enforcement and Appeals Board. Please see Florida Statute 162 for more information on notice requirements.
In order to come into compliance, a citizen may contact the Code Compliance Officer in person, by email, or by phone to get more information regarding the code, the process, or to seek more time to comply.
Compliance time frames are used as a guideline and may be subject to change if a citizen requires more time to bring the property into compliance.
- If the Officer inspects a property, and the site is in compliance, the case is closed.
- If compliance takes place after personal contact or a door hanger, the case is closed.
- If compliance takes place before the Code Enforcement and Appeals Board meets, the case may or may not be heard. If it is heard, it is up to the Board to determine guilt and whether to assess any fines.
- If a complaint reaches the Code Enforcement and Appeals Board, the Board will hear the case evidence, determine whether or not there is a violation, and whether to assess fines and fees. If fines and fees are not paid within the specified time frame, a lien can be recorded on the property. Appeals of the Board's decision go to Circuit Court.