home inspector holding clipboard and pencil

How Code Enforcement Works to Keep Raleigh Safe

Committed to improving and maintaining the quality of life and environment for all City of Raleigh citizens

The Code Enforcement Division of the Housing & Neighborhoods Department strives to make the City of Raleigh a safe and healthy place to live, work, and play. The Code Enforcement Division is committed to improving and maintaining the quality of life for all residents by delivering fair and equitable enforcement of the City code. The division responds to requests for inspection, complaints, noted observations, and referrals from other City departments and government agencies.  

The Code Enforcement Division’s staff and professional inspectors enforce the City’s Building and Housing Code. The City’s code follows the North Carolina Minimum Housing Code and State Building Codes. These regulations protect the health, safety, and welfare of the Raleigh community. They also help maintain property values, enhance business development, and promote local community retention.  

Safety is one of the primary ways code enforcement positively impacts communities. The Code Enforcement Division addresses life-safety issues and minimum housing standards, such as holes in walls and roofs, the lack of heat, unsafe electrical work, bed bugs or other insect infestations, structural problems, and leaking pipes. In addition to the Building and Housing Code, the Code Enforcement Division enforces the City’s Public Nuisance, Nuisance Vehicle, and Junk Vehicle ordinances which also impact the overall health, safety, and general welfare of the local community. Public nuisance violations can include high grass, appliances or household furniture outside, trash or construction debris, stagnant water, and creating a breeding ground for rodents.

If a property is in violation, the City’s priority is to work directly with those affected. Often, Code Enforcement Division staff will meet with a property owner before an official citation is issued to discuss the violation. City staff may refer the property owner to various resources to provide the owner assistance. These resources may include various programs designed to assist low-to-moderate income Raleigh homeowners with financing for the cost of repairs to roofs, heating and cooling systems, electrical, plumbing, or structural issues.

If, after the inspection, the violation requires an official citation to address any housing code violations, the City notifies the property owner of the violation and schedules an administrative hearing. At the hearing, a property owner has another opportunity to discuss the violation and any requirements with the City. Afterward, a repair order may be issued, giving the property owner a deadline to repair the property. If the property owner does not repair the property by the repair order deadline, administrative fees and civil penalties are assessed. Another consequence of failing to comply with a repair order is that the Code Enforcement Division may refer the case to City Council for resolution; depending on the extent and severity of the violations, the request to Council may include approval for demolition.

During Fiscal Year 2019-2020, the Code Enforcement Division received 480 housing inspection requests. After inspection, 223 of the inspections resulted in an official housing case. Of the 223 cases, 175 cases were rental properties, 30 properties were vacant, and 18 were owner-occupied. Three cases resulted in a demolition ordinance by the Raleigh City Council.

The City’s goal is to support the health and well-being of our community. With your help, the City of Raleigh can be a safe and healthy place for all. If you need to contact the Code Enforcement Division, please complete a Code Enforcement Request Form or call 919-996-2444.



Code Enforcement Division