Code Enforcement

Code Enforcement enforces the following code and ordinances to preserve the quality and value of property in Arlington:

Code Enforcement inspectors ensure uniform and equitable enforcement of maintenance standards. They also verify the safe and efficient occupancy and use of properties.

Inspections occur both proactively and in response to input from constituents. The Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management (DPSCEM) may also activate Code Enforcement inspectors after emergencies.

Part of the Inspection Services Division (ISD), Code Enforcement has a team of inspectors certified by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and the International Code Council. To meet local needs, more than half of Code Enforcement staff speak multiple foreign languages.

Code Enforcement FAQs

Does Arlington allow open storage of junk cars in residential districts?

No. You can store inoperative or junk vehicles only inside of a fully enclosed building.

Does Arlington allow storage of old furniture, appliances, tires or building materials on private property?

Yes, if you store them inside an enclosed building.

For information about discarding these and other items, find out: Where Does It Go?

Does Arlington allow obstruction of sidewalks and roadways with low branches, shrubs and other foliage from private property?

No. Any foliage on private property should be kept within the property line. Sidewalks and roadways should remain free of foliage at the ground surface and 10 (ten) ft. upward.

How tall may my grass be?

Grass/weeds may not exceed 12 in. in height in the front, sides and rear of a property.

What time may construction work occur?

Construction activities, including use of power equipment, may exceed the normal noise decibel level from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends and legal holidays. See the Noise Control Ordinance.

What do I do if I receive a notice of violation from Code Enforcement and have questions?

If you have questions about how to achieve compliance, visit Code Enforcement Violations and/or contact the inspector assigned to your case. The inspector’s name is listed at the bottom of the notice. You can also call and ask to speak to the inspector for your area: 703-228-3232.

What happens if I do not comply?

Code Enforcement officers have the authority to summon owners to General District Court, write citations or have property cleaned by an outside contractor. Fines in court can be as high as $2,500. Additional costs may be assessed depending on the nature of the violation.

Where can I find the County’s codes and ordinances?

What We Inspect For … and What We Don’t

Code Enforcement Addresses

  • Structures that are vacant and open to trespass
  • Broken window glass and inoperable windows
  • Missing gutters and downspouts
  • Missing building identification numbers
  • Peeling paint at exterior or interior
  • Missing or loose handrails and guardrails at decks and stairs
  • Dilapidated garages and sheds
  • Abandoned or unprotected swimming pools
  • Broken door and window hardware
  • Holes in walls or ceilings
  • Unstable floor conditions or missing finished floor covering
  • Leaking roofs and flooding basements
  • Inoperable or missing smoke detectors
  • Closed or inoperable restrooms at commercial establishments
  • Inoperable or inadequate heat or hot water
  • Inadequate or inoperable water supply
  • Inoperable toilets, tubs and sinks
  • Leaking faucets and constantly running toilets
  • Illegally created bedrooms and apartments
  • Cracks and openings in exterior walls or foundation
  • Raw sewage and plumbing leaks
  • Inadequate lights at public corridors and stairways
  • Inadequate or inoperative electrical outlets and switches
  • Exposed electrical wires, extensive extension cords
  • Grass or weeds in excess of twelve inches height
  • Impassible streets or sidewalks due to shrub encroachment
  • Tires, garbage, vehicle parts or other exterior stored waste on private property
  • Construction noise

Code Enforcement Does Not Address

  • Parking issues on lawns or on public streets
  • Speeding vehicles
  • Fences less than six feet in height
  • Retaining walls less than three feet in height
  • Tenant/landlord relations
  • Playground equipment
  • Animal nuisances including leash requirements
  • Pet waste pick-up
  • Recycling
  • Housing voucher inspections and administration
  • Water or air quality issues
  • Mold inspection and testing
  • Broken parking meters
  • Permit parking issues
  • Overcrowding based on the number of unrelated persons
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Unwanted circulars and their schedule of delivery
  • Food safety concerns
  • Live entertainment and dance hall permits
  • Zoning use permits, variances or other special exemptions
  • Fire prevention issues
  • Any public or life safety issues typically addressed by the police

Report a Violation

To file a complaint:

Include the following when reporting a violation:

  • Provide the correct address where the problem is located
  • Give specific details about the problem or concerns
  • Provide the best time to witness the infraction

Administrative staff will initiate a case and assign it to the district inspector for that area. Cases are serviced in three to five business days.

The filing of complaints/investigation requests is anticipated to move online in a future phase of Permit Arlington.

Notices of Violation

Any violation of the Virginia Maintenance Code, Condition of Private Property (COPP) Ordinance or Noise Control Ordinance requires Code Enforcement staff to notify the property owner of the violation and order corrective action.

Learn more about notices of violation.