Housing Code Enforcement
The mission of Housing Code Enforcement is to preserve and improve the quality and maintain the quantity of Berkeley's rental housing stock by:
- Gaining compliance with applicable housing codes;
- Optimizing positive relationships with owners, residents and neighbors; and
- Enforcing housing codes, and coordinating with other City programs and efforts to provide safe and decent rental housing in Berkeley.
The Housing Code Enforcement has three basic components:
- The Rental Housing Safety Program (RHSP). A program in which owners certify to the City that their rental units meet certain basic safety standards; the City inspects certain units to ensure that they are in compliance with housing code; and tenants are encouraged to be vigilant and required not to alter their units in ways that create safety hazards.
- The Complaint-Generated Housing Inspection Program. This program involves the inspection of apartment buildings and units on a demand-driven basis. Staff responds to housing code complaints (filed with Housing Code Enforcement on a Request for Service) initiated by Berkeley tenants or by other City programs. Staff normally responds by notifying the complainant and property owner of an impending inspection. Inspections usually take place in approximately 10 working days after communication with property owner and tenant. Shorter response times are arranged if the complaint is serious. Property owners are required to correct identified violations within reasonable timeframes.
- The Exterior Elevated Elements Inspection Program (E3). This program was adopted by the Berkeley City Council on July 14, 2015. The E3 program requires all property owners of residential buildings containing three or more dwelling or sleeping units to hire a licensed professional to inspect and certify that all weather exposed exterior elevated balconies, decks, landings, walkways, stairway systems, guardrails, handrails, or any parts thereof are in a generally safe condition. The property owner is then required to insure either an Exemption Declaration or an Inspection Certification form is submitted to the Housing Code Enforcement office by January 14, 2016 and then every five years thereafter. For more information, including Frequently Asked Questions, Forms, and Guidelines visit the E3 website at the above link.
The basic mission of Housing Code Enforcement is to enforce the Berkeley Housing Code. The exceptions are substandard conditions which pose an immediate threat to the health and safety of the tenant. Substandard conditions are referred to the City's Building Official for immediate follow up. Fees are charged as long as substandard conditions exist.
Housing Code Enforcement is located at 2120 Milvia Street in the Permit Service Center. The public can reach the office by phone at 981-5444. To talk directly with one of our Inspectors, please call the office in the morning between 8:30-9:30 am and in the afternoon between 4:00-4:30 pm.