Substandard Housing Complaints

  1. What should I do before calling Code Enforcement?
  2. Are complainants kept confidential?
  3. When will a Code Enforcement Officer be out to inspect?
  4. What is a priority violation?
  5. What are some examples of non-priority violations?
  6. What will happen if my complaint is considered a non-priority?
  7. Can I refuse access for repairs until Code Enforcement comes out to inspect?
  8. What do you NOT enforce?
  9. My window screens are in disrepair, can you make the landlord replace them?
  10. Do most people comply with just a warning?
  11. What happens if my unit/property is found to be in violation?
  12. Are the fees associated with your inspections?
  13. If I am under eviction will Code Enforcement come out sooner to inspect?
  14. Can I withhold my rent for substandard housing issues?
  15. How can I recognize a Code Enforcement Officer?
  16. If the violation is my fault can I be held responsible?
  17. Who can I call for more information?
  18. Who do I contact if I find mold or mildew within my rental housing unit?

 

1. What should I do before calling Code Enforcement?
Contact your owner/manager and allow them the opportunity to make the necessary repairs in a reasonable amount of time. If they fail to make repairs then you may file a complaint through the Complaint Intake Center at 311 (875-4311).

2. Are complainants kept confidential?
Yes. It is department policy not to disclose information regarding complainants.

3. When will a Code Enforcement Officer be out to inspect?
Depending on the type of violations there will be an inspection conducted within 72 hours of a complaint for a priority violations or after 30 days for non-priority violations.

4. What is a priority violation?

  • Lack of heat (winter months)
  • Lack of required utilities
  • Vacant, Open and Accessible properties
  • Surfacing Sewage
  • Collapsing Ceiling

5. What are some examples of non-priority violations?

Some of the most common violations we see are the following:

  • Improper plumbing, which includes leaks
  • Unapproved electrical
  • Vector infestation (Cockroaches/Bed bugs)
  • Missing/Non-functioning smoke detectors

​6. What will happen if my complaint is considered a non-priority?
A warning letter will be sent to the property owner and manager (if applicable) advising of the alleged complaint. The letter will provide 30 days for the repairs to be made. Once the timeline has lapsed a call will be made to the complainant to check the status of the repairs. If the repairs have been made the case will be closed. If the repairs have not been made a call will be placed to the property and/or manager (if applicable) for further information. Once an inspection is needed, the officer will coordinate with the complainant for access. If the complaint has not been made a call will be placed to the property and/or manager (if applicable) for further information. Once an inspection is needed, the officer will coordinate with the complainant for access. 

7. Can I refuse access for repairs until Code Enforcement comes out to inspect?
One of the goals of Code Enforcement is to motivate the property owners to make the necessary repairs and voluntary comply with the codes. If you are filing a complaint with Code Enforcement, you must allow the property owner, or their representative’s access to make the necessary repairs. If we are made aware of the complainant denying access for such repairs the case may be closed. 

8. What do you NOT enforce?

  • Infestations of bugs including ants, spiders, etc.
  • Civil issues including smoking, neighborhood disputes, lease violations, etc.

9. My window screens are in disrepair, can you make the landlord replace them?
We enforce the minimum health and safety standards set forth in the California Health and Safety Code 17920.3. This does not include screens but this may be a civil issue if they are included in your lease.  

10. Do most people comply with just a warning?

Yes. Some people may not know they were in violation and immediately comply with the codes after being notified.  

11. What happens if my unit/property is found to be in violation?

A Notice of Violation will be issued to the property owner with a timeline to comply. Fees will also be assessed.   

12. Are the fees associated with your inspections?

Yes. Cost recovery fees are assessed for properties found to be in violation. In addition, punitive penalties and/or civil penalties can be imposed for delayed compliance. 

13. If I am under eviction will Code Enforcement come out sooner to inspect?

No. The process allows for an opportunity for the property owner to be notified and time to correct the violations. 

14. Can I withhold my rent for substandard housing issues?

Code enforcement cannot provide legal advice and questions such as this should be referred to an attorney. 

15. How can I recognize a Code Enforcement Officer?

Officers wear a vest that says, "Sacramento County Code Enforcement" on the back and “Code Enforcement” on the front with a badge. If you have a question as to an Officer’s identity they will present you with photo identification.  

16. If the violation is my fault can I be held responsible?

Code enforcement does have the ability to issue citations to the tenant(s) responsible for certain violations and substandard conditions. 

17. Who can I call for more information?

You can call Code Enforcement at 916-874-6444 or call the rental housing inspection program at 916-876-9020. You can also visit the Substandard Housing and Rental Housing Inspection Program links on the website:  www.code-enforcement.saccounty.net

18. Who do I contact if I find mold or mildew within my rental housing unit?

If you have discovered water intrusion within your unit, you should first check with your landlord. Typically, structural or plumbing repair work is the landlord's responsibility. Problems with surface accumulation of mildew are the responsibility of the tenant to fix. Mold is a similar problem to mildew, but may be caused by problems that go beyond the surface to deeper levels of the structure.   

If you are not able to resolve your structural, plumbing, or mold issues with your landlord, you may call file a complaint at Sacramento County 311 Connect. Get more information about mold issues, how to get rid of mold and additional contact information if you live within the cities of Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove or Folsom at the Sacramento Environmental Management Department.