Arlington Code Enforcement, a part of the Inspection Services Division (ISD), strives to preserve the quality and value of public and private property by ensuring that maintenance standards are uniformly and equitably enforced and that all properties are maintained and occupied for use in a safe and efficient manner.
Learn more about how code enforcement works in Arlington County (presented by Gary Greene, Construction Codes Manager):
Codes We Enforce
- Virginia Maintenance Code
- Arlington Condition of Private Property Ordinance
- Arlington Noise Control Ordinance. Learn more about applying for a noise exemption.
What We Don’t Do
Arlington Code Enforcement does not address parking issues on lawns or public streets, speeding vehicles, fences less than six feet in height, retaining walls less than two feet in height, tenant/landlord relations, playground equipment, animal nuisances including leash requirements and pet waste pick-up, recycling, housing voucher inspections and administration, water or air quality issues, mold inspection and testing, broken parking meters/parking ticket issues, overcrowding based on the number of unrelated persons, outdoor furniture, unwanted circulars, food safety concerns, live entertainment and dance hall permits, zoning use permits, variances or other special exemptions, fire prevention issues or any public or life safety issues subject to address by the police.
Learn more about these violations and how to address them.
Authority to Conduct Inspections
Arlington code enforcement inspectors are certified by the Commonwealth of Virginia as Building Maintenance Inspectors and certified by the International Code Council as Property Maintenance Inspectors.
If the department receives a complaint that a violation of this code exists that is an immediate and imminent threat to the health or safety of the owner or tenant of a residential dwelling unit, and the owner or tenant of the residential dwelling unit has refused to allow the code official or his agent(s) to have access to the subject dwelling, the code official or his agent(s) may present an inspection warrant granted by the court to enter a dwelling for the purpose of determining whether violations of this code exists.
Both proactively and in response to your input, Code Enforcement property inspections include, but are not limited to:
- General exterior: broken windows, peeling paint, defective gutters
- General interior: peeling paint, defective handrails (stair elements)
- Light, ventilation and occupancy limitations: defective windows, defective exhaust fans
- Plumbing facilities and fixture requirements: supply and volume of water, adequacy of fixtures
- Mechanical and electrical requirements: defective electrical system/defective heating, defective receptacle(s)
- Fire safety requirements: defective/missing smoke detectors; egress (walking room)
Owners whose properties are in violation will receive notices of violation specific to the type of violation found. The notice will allow a specified period of time to correct violations; in some cases, repairs may require a building permit.
Notices of Violation
Any violation of the the Virginia Maintenance Code, Condition of Private Property or the Noise Control Ordinance requires Code Enforcement to notify the owner of the violation and order that corrective action be taken. See a list of typical concerns reports.
If You Receive a Notice Violation or Order of Correction
If code enforcement inspectors validate the existence of a substandard condition at private property, they will issue a violation notice to the responsible parties to advise of the violation.
Emergency and Corrective Actions
Code Enforcement investigates emergency complaints that present a threat to the health and welfare of the community within 24 hours. If it’s determined that a violation exists resulting in the serious and imminent threat to the life and safety of the occupants of a dwelling, the staff may order the owner to take immediate action to correct the condition.
How to File a Complaint
Call 703-228-3232 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or email us. All complaints will be taken and addressed by one of our administrative staff. You can also file a complaint online by clicking our Investigation Request Form and the request will be sent to our staff. Or you can print a PDF version of the form and return it via email, fax, mail or in person.
You can help in our investigation of your concern by:
- Reporting to staff the correct address where the problem is located. Having the exact address is very critical and most helpful to inspectors when investigating the complaint.
- Clearly state the problem as it deals with Code Enforcement. Remember, we cannot see the problem you see while on the phone. Give specific details and problems as it relates to the nature of your call.
- Our administrative staff will initiate a case and assign it to the district inspector for that area. We will service that case in 3-5 business days.
Sometimes other agencies or departments are responsible for investigating your complaint. See a list of typical Code Enforcement concerns. We will advise you of that department’s phone number and contact name if possible and you can speak directly with that agency.
Appeal Process for COPP and Building Code Violations
Learn more about violations citations and notices issued under the condition of private property ordinance (COPP, Arlington County Code, Chapter 10, Article II).
Referrals For Assistance Outside of Code Enforcement
|Animal Wardens (Complaints)||703-931-9241|
|Citizen and Consumer Affairs||703-228-3260|
|Dominion Power — Emergencies||888-667-3000|
|Environmental Health (Complaints)||703-228-7400|
|Inspection Services Division (ISD) (Construction)||703-228-3800|
|Tree Maintenance and Landscaping||703-228-6527|
|Washington Gas Light Company||703-750-9500|