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Code Enforcement Procedures and Fees


The City is concerned with the safety and general well being of the community and preservation of its aesthetic aspects. Toward this end, Municipal Code requirements are adopted and enforced.

Daly City undertakes code enforcement efforts when a complaint is received or City staff observes a violation.

Buildings and property must be maintained in a safe and habitable manner. Work to maintain or improve buildings or property requires permits.

The Code Enforcement Division enforces permitting requirements regarding buildings to protect health and life safety and responds to zoning, home occupation and public nuisance issues.


Please understand that the simple existence of certain construction or improvements when the building was purchased does not mean it was built with permits and is legal.

Note:  Daly City requires the seller of residential property provide the buyer with a Residential Requirements Report (3R).

The 3R is a listing of permit and zoning history of the property. It is intended to provide the buyer direction regarding what is legal.

Construction that is not legal can be legalized by obtaining permits to do so. If you have questions in this regard, contact the Building Division at (650) 991-8061.

The legality of construction or improvements of a structure and the condition and use of the property are ultimately the responsibility of the current owner.

The Code Enforcement Process

When a complaint is received, or staff witnesses a violation, the following steps are undertaken to have the violation abated:

  • An inspection is scheduled to determine if the complaint has merit. If it does not, the case is closed.
  • If the complaint has merit, a letter explaining the violations is mailed to the property owner. It provides direction and timelines to abate the violations.
  • If the violations are not abated within reasonable timelines, the case may be referred to the Administrative Hearing Board.


Permits are required to do construction work. This includes plumbing fixture replacement, new electrical work, window, furnace and water heater replacements, addition of walls, rooms or decks, and demolition work. Call the Building Division at (650) 991-8061 if you are uncertain whether your project requires permits.

Most often, permits are required to abate code violations. Make sure permits are issued before work is begun.

Note: A permit to abate code enforcement violations expires if work is not completed and a final inspection passed within 60 days of permit issuance.


Enforcement fees represent the staff time incurred to see the violation abated. They increase over time. Common violations and the associated fees are listed below (for violations abated within 30 days):


 Building maintenance problems  $300
 Construction without permits  $300
 Unsafe/dangerous building  $200
 Expired permit  $100
 Fence problem  $200
 Housing code violation  $250
 Illegal secondary unit  $600
 Retaining wall  $100
 Conditions of approval violation  $250
 Sign permit violation  $100
 Illegal home occupation  $250
 Miscellaneous  $200 

Fees accrue and are due from the date of the letter following the initial investigation. They increase if the violation is not abated within 30 days, 60 days and/or within 90 days from the date of the letter.

Example: A second unit was constructed without permit. The fees are as follows depending upon how long the case remains open:

1-30 days ............. $600
31-60 days.............. $925
61-90 days.............. $1,050

It is obviously in one’s best interest to abate the violation as quickly as possible.


Designated Daly City employees may issue citations with a range of potential fines and mandatory Court appearance.

Administrative Hearing Board

When abatement does not occur within a reasonable time, the case is taken before the Administrative Hearing Board. The cost for this action is $1,994 in addition to the enforcement fee. The Board consists of three City department heads and has the authority to assess penalty fees up to $10,000. The hearing is conducted as follows:

  • The Board will hear a staff report presentation and will entertain public comments. The property owner may present their case.
  • The Board renders its decision. Their Findings and Order are prepared and mailed to the property owner.
  • Failure to abate the violations or follow the Board’s order will result in imposition of penalty fees and the City may abate the violations at the owner’s expense.


Fees may be appealed, within 10 days of having been paid, by writing a letter of appeal to Daly City Code Enforcement Division stating the reason for appeal and including a check in the amount of $100.

A decision of the Board may be appealed to the City Council by filing a written request to the City Clerk within ten days of the hearing. The request must be accompanied by a check in the amount of $100.

If you have questions, call the Code Enforcement Division at (650) 991-8260.