Code Enforcement


Code Enforcement ProcessAggressive legal action on behalf of the City to ensure safety and maintain property on behalf of its residents is what defines this team’s work. The Code Enforcement and Resident Protection Team uses civil enforcement methods to improve conditions in areas where San Francisco’s Fire, Building, Housing and Planning Codes, or California Health and Safety Code and Disability Access Regulations have been violated.

Each member of the Code Team is assigned to a different San Francisco district where they work with other City departments to identify code violations and pursue legal action against those who do not take steps to abate the identified problem. Working with the Department of Building Inspection, the Fire Department, the Department of Human Services, the Planning Department, the Police Department and the Health Department the Code Enforcement focuses on keeping San Francisco safe.

What is Code Enforcement?

The Office of the City Attorney coordinates the efforts of the Building, Health, Planning, Public Works, Fire, and Police Departments to identify and respond effectively to health and safety threats and other public nuisance issues in San Francisco’s neighborhoods. When a code violation is reported, the Code Enforcement Team at the City Attorney’s Office responds by coordinating the investigation and abatement process by the relevant city agencies and, when necessary, pursuing additional remedies against violators through court action.

Why Enforce City Codes?

City codes exist as both preventive and regulatory ways to protect the character and integrity of San Francisco’s neighborhoods, as well as the health and safety of its citizens. The Office of the City Attorney engages in proactive community outreach to educate residents and business owners about their rights and responsibilities. This function of city government exists to protect citizens, and the Office of the City Attorney’s code enforcement efforts are an integral part of making San Francisco a safe and healthy place to live, work, and play!

Types of Code Enforcement Violations

Substandard Housing and Building Code Violations
Lack of heat or water, dilapidated conditions, musical rooming, unsafe or illegal construction, plumbing, electrical and/or mechanical problems, seismically unsafe buildings

Fire Hazards
Lack of fire sprinklers or sprinklers that don’t work, lack of fire extinguishers, blocked or locked exits, overcrowding of public spaces

Criminal Activity
Drug dealing, prostitution, illegal businesses, gang violence, nuisances at liquor stores and entertainment venues, gambling, excessive noise

Health Code Violations
Insect or rodent infestation, trash accumulation, abandoned cars/trucks

Land Use Issues
Unauthorized property uses, unpermitted in-law units, commercial auto repair at residential properties, illegal signs, non-compliance with landmark preservation laws, destruction of San Francisco historical landmarks

Public Works Violations
Illegal dumping, blight, broken sidewalks in front of residences or businesses