Due to staff reductions in 2011, we will respond to selected lower priority issues and violations by mailing information to a property occupant or taxpayer of record for issues with a lower impact. Examples include vegetation overgrowth which does not present a danger for pedestrians or vehicle drivers, and minor junk storage.
DPD's regulations are intended to foster safety and quality of life in Seattle. Each year DPD housing and zoning staff respond to over 5,000 complaints pertaining to construction, land use, environmental protection, housing and building maintenance, just cause eviction, tenant relocation due to development activity, vacant buildings standards, vegetation overgrowth, noise from construction and equipment, and outdoor storage of junk materials.
Common Code Violations
Examples of violations include junk storage, vegetation overgrowth into the right of way, vacant buildings and construction noise. In most cases, investigation of code violations and enforcement action happens when a citizen reports a potential violation.
The types of violations that are typically reported include:
- Inoperable or junk cars parked in yards.
- Junk stored outside in residential zones, including discarded or used building materials, scrap metal, car parts, and old furniture.
- Poor conditions in rental housing, such as leaks, inadequate door locks, rotting floors, no heat, or sanitation problems.
- Vacant buildings open to unauthorized entry.
- Vegetation overgrowth into the right-of-way.
- Illegal operation of businesses in residential zones.
- Illegal duplexes or triplexes in single family zones.
- Activity in a building which does not conform to the issued Certificate of Occupancy, such as a dance hall in a warehouse.
- Work which is underway without a required permit, such as construction or grading.
- Safety issues such as structural problems, collapsing buildings or retaining walls, landslides, boiler or elevator safety problems, or electrical hazards.
- Work which does not conform to plans approved for a permit, e.g., setbacks which don't conform to those shown on the plans.
- Violation of construction conditions established for a project, such as exceeding allowed hours of operation or producing excessive noise.
- Noise emanating from exterior heat exchangers, and other similar devices (e.g. ventilation, air-conditioning, refrigeration).
- Shoreline violations such as hindrances to posted public access or illegal work in the shoreline.
- Notice of eviction or termination of tenancy to a residential tenant without just cause.
View a list of complaints investigated by other agencies.
If you think you know of a potential violation and would like to report it, see Filing a Complaint.
For more information concerning Landlord/Tenant Issues & Complaints, see our Landlord-Tenant Information site.
For more information concerning vegetation overgrowth, junk cars, and dilapidated homes, see our Clean Up Your Act site.