Types of Code Violations
Report a code violation on Inquire Boulder. Learn more about different code violations below.
The City of Boulder’s housing code ensures that no dwelling “presents an imminent hazard to public health or to the physical safety of the occupants therein.” Minimum standards for equipment and facilities address proper plumbing, heating, light/ventilation, safety from fire, and maintenance, among others. The city manager reserves the right to issue a notice of violation and inspect a premise to ensure compliance.
This ordinance was initiated to prevent chronic property violations, (such as trash), that occur when two or more separate violations in twelve months or three or more separate violations within twenty-four months have occurred and there is a civilian witness (not a law enforcement officer) who is willing to participate in the process.
By city code, no user or other person shall discharge any sewage, other polluted waters, or other deleterious substance from any premises within the city into or upon any public highway, street, sidewalk, alley, land, public place, stream, ditch or other watercourse.
Illegal Signs on Private Property
No person may display, construct, erect, alter or use any sign except in accordance with the provisions of Boulder Revised Code 9-9 and upon first obtaining a permit.
- Zoning Inspection: 303-441-1880.
Illegal Dwelling Units
Only an owner-occupied, detached single-family residence may establish an accessory dwelling unit within the principal residence in certain specified residential zoning districts. A permit is required.
Lighting Violations - Outdoor Lighting Ordinance
In 2003, the City Council approved a new outdoor lighting ordinance. The objectives of the ordinance are to prevent light trespass, reduce light pollution (also known as “sky glow”), reduce excessive glare, promote energy conservation, and improve safety and security (including addressing the special nighttime lighting needs of an aging population).
The city’s occupancy regulations permit no more than three unrelated persons to inhabit most residences. In condominiums and apartments, no more than four unrelated persons are permitted in each unit. Permitted occupancy of a property is ultimately determined by zoning and can be verified with the city. Maximum penalty for over-occupancy is $2,000 per day plus 90 days in jail.
Zoning / Illegal Uses
If you have a question about zoning and/or occupancy, call the Planning Department at 303-441-1880. If you would like to file a complaint about zoning or over-occupancy, call the Zoning Administrator's office at 303-441-1880. Learn more about zoning.
Work Without a Permit If your work does not require a permit, you are still legally bound to meet all city codes. For more information, visit the Planning & Development Services Center.
Building codes must be followed for the health and safety of the public and permits are required to erect, enlarge, alter, demolish, or repair a structure, including building, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing work. Contractors are required to be licensed.
Rental Housing Licensing
The city licenses rental housing to ensure it is safe, clean and sanitary. Rental inspections are required for licensing. All rental properties must be inspected and licensed pursuant to the provisions of Boulder Revised Code, Chapters 10-2 and 10-3. Occupants shall maintain dwellings and premises in a safe, clean and sanitary condition. Housing Inspection: 303-441-3152
To report a housing code and/or a rental license violation or complaint, call 303-441-1880 or select the "Report a Building Safety, Rental Housing, Right-of-Way or Zoning Code Violation" link.