Frequently Asked Questions
The Department of Code Compliance investigates neighborhood quality of life complaints, involving most zoning, noise, property maintenance, building, fire, blight, grass and health codes. The department consolidates many of the county’s code enforcement activities into a single agency.
- My landlord is refusing to fix some issues in the house so I do not want to pay him the full amount of rent because I feel he does not deserve it. How do I do that without being evicted?
- What is the number for permits?
- What is the number for Residential Inspections?
- What are the setbacks for my property?
- How is my property zoned?
Too Many People in Home
- There appears to be too many people living in one house. How many people are allowed to live in one house?
- There are some inoperable vehicles along with some commercial vehicles that are parked on my residential street causing issues when trying to pass a car coming from the other direction or trying to see at intersections. Can you come out and ticket the vehicles?
- My neighbor has a car parked on the grass on their property. Are people allowed to park a vehicle on the grass?
- My neighbor cut down a lot of trees in his yard and he left the tree debris at the back of his lot line. Can you come out and cite him for the tree debris and make him remove the debris?
- My neighbor graded his yard and now all of the water flows into my backyard and creates a huge puddle and has nowhere to go. Can you make my neighbor fix this drainage issue?
- A house in the neighborhood has broken windows, peeling paint, falling gutters and other similar issues. Is there an agency that I can contact that can deal with these types of issues?
- What is the process for investigating a complaint?
- Are complaints confidential?
- How do you appeal a Notice Of Violation?
- Are there fines charged to violators?
- What happens when someone is found to be in violation of a code?
- What types of violations take priority?
- What animals am I not permitted to own and keep at my house in Fairfax County?
- What are the regulations for the number of dogs that someone can have on a property?
- The apartment/condo/house I am renting had a flood a few months ago and the flood was taken care of and repaired, however now I have mold in my home and the landlord refuses to clean it. What department in the county deals with mold and what information do I need to report the issue?
Visit What Tenants and Landlords Need to Know for specific information regarding tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities or call Consumer Affairs at 703-222-8435, TTY 711.
The Permit Application Center can be reached at 703-222-0801, TTY 711, or visit the Building Permits Web page for more information.
Residential Inspections can be reached at 703-631-5101, TTY 711, or visit the Building Inspections Web page for more information.
Please visit Residential Setback Requirements to determine the setback for your property.
Use the Zoning District Analyzer to find out how your property is zoned.
The Zoning Ordinance regulates how many people can occupy a single residence. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the planner of the day in the Ordinance Administration branch of Department of Planning and Zoning at 703-324-1314, TTY 711.
DCC does not have jurisdiction on public streets. Parking Restrictions and Related Issues gives more detailed information.
Paragraph 8 of section 11-102 of the Zoning Ordinance regulates vehicles parked on the grass and in the front yard. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the planner of the day in the Ordinance Administration branch of Department of Planning and Zoning at 703-324-1314, TTY 711.
No. There is no county regulation regarding the removal of tree debris unless in a Resource Protected Area. More information regarding tree care and removal is available online.
To report a drainage issue, please fill out and submit the Report a Storm Drainage Problem online form or call the Maintenance and Stormwater Management at 703-877-2800, TTY 711.
Homes and properties must be well maintained both inside and outside, according to the Property Maintenance Code. The Department of Code Compliance enforces the Property Maintenance Code. Fill out the online complaint form to file a complaint or call 703-324-1300, TTY 711.
Article 10 of the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance regulates businesses being conducted in homes. More information on home occupation permit guidelines is available online or by calling the planner of the day in the Ordinance Administration branch of Department of Planning and Zoning at 703-324-1314, TTY 711.
Yes. Code Compliance staff do not reveal the identity of the complainant, and this information is even exempted from Freedom of Information Act Inquiries. Anonymous calls are accepted but not preferred. Investigators may need to contact the complainant when additional information is needed. Without that, the case may have to be closed.
This depends on the nature of the code violation. Fire Code, Property Maintenance, and Building Code violations are all appealed to the Local Board of Building Code Appeals. Please complete the online appeal form or call 703-324-1780, TTY 711, for more information. Zoning Violations are appealed either to the Board of Zoning Appeals or the Zoning Administration Division. Information and forms can also be obtained on the Board of Zoning Appeals Web page.
Civil penalties entered by the General District Court shall be paid to the Office of the County Attorney. Investigators may not accept any payments, including those associated with fines and fees.
A Code Compliance investigator will notify the responsible part(ies) in writing by issuing a Corrective Work Order or a Notice of Violation. These documents will itemize code violation(s), require correction within a reasonable timeframe, and direct how to bring code violation(s) into compliance. Once the specified timeframe for compliance has expired, the investigator will conduct a follow-up inspection. If violation(s) are still found to be present, further action will be taken. This may result in the initiation of criminal or civil litigation.
New cases do not all carry the same level of priority for investigation, as some cases will need the investigator’s attention more urgently than other cases. The general practice for prioritizing cases is as follows: first, matters concerning a threat or potential threat to life-safety and welfare; secondly, high profile or matters of significance; and then other cases. Life safety and welfare cases should always receive the utmost attention, so that injury and death can be avoided. This may include, but is not limited to, such cases as: a vacant house on the verge of collapse, exposed sewage backup in an occupied building, or children, the sick or disabled, or the elderly living without utilities.
Paragraph 2 of Section 2-512 of the Zoning Ordinance regulates keeping animals on your property. If you have any questions, please contact the planner of the day in the Ordinance Administration branch of Department of Planning and Zoning at 703-324-1314, TTY 711.
Paragraph 2 of Section 2-512 of the Zoning Ordinance regulates the number of dogs allowed on your property. If you have any questions, please contact the planner of the day in the Ordinance Administration branch of Department of Planning and Zoning at 703-324-1314, TTY 711.
The county does not have codes or regulations addressing mold. For more information, please visit the Environmental Protection Agency online.