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COVID-19 Freeze for Multnomah County

The four-week (minimum) freeze is in effect through December 16th.

Property Compliance Services and Inspections

Learn more about property compliance inspections and enforcement. Find out where to submit a lien reduction review request. Find out who to call about adult foster care, livability and nuisance inspections.

Important announcement regarding waivers and liens

Property owners can submit a request for a lien deduction review. Submit a request after you've corrected all violations and the enforcement case is closed. You may qualify for more waivers or reductions.

Apply for the lien reduction review program

If you had code enforcement liens placed against your properties for code violations, you can apply for review. If you have lien(s) on a property with closed enforcement case(s) you may request a lien reduction review by completing one of the following:

Please do not submit more than one request, as this slows our response time. Due to the volume of requests our current response time is four weeks or more.

Erosion control and demolition inspections

We do erosion control and demolition inspections for permits for vacant properties only. We follow physical distancing requirements and do video inspections using Facetime or Skype.

Compliance and enforcement inspections

We do other enforcement inspections, too:

  • Zoning and Nuisance inspections: Exterior complaints only.

  • Dangerous buildings, emergency condition cases, EDPEP cases and violation emergency condition cases: We do inspections on vacant properties or if we can maintain the mandatory physical distancing of six feet or if we can perform a video inspection using Facetime or Skype.

  • Emergency violation cases: We review new and existing cases on a case by case basis to find out if we can provide services in compliance with physical distancing guidelines.

  • Housing cases: For new cases, we are only inspecting critical and emergency issues. We do inspections using video through Facetime or Skype. For existing housing cases, we can inspect exterior conditions or limited interior repairs if we can do video inspections using Facetime or Skype.

Submitting complaints

We accept and review all complaints. High-priority cases take precedence. We will inspect non-critical, non-health related and non-emergency cases after we complete high priority cases.

Chapter 13 systematic inspection program

This inspection program is for multi-family residential & hotel buildings more than two stories high and built before 1973. We inspect these buildings to provide adequate fire and life safety for the occupants.

These inspections include all vacant units, commons areas, basements, roofs and escape routes. If the building includes a commercial occupancy, separation walls and ceilings are also inspected.

This program was a result of Ordinance 135236, passed by the City on September 7, 1972. We created this ordinance to make sure there is fire and life safety protection for people living in older multi-story hotels and apartment structures. Many older buildings were built without safeguards. The missing safeguards include a lack of:

  • enclosed stairways

  • availability of exits

  • fire separation

  • exit signs

  • more

We make compliance agreements with the building owners and they make changes. We inspect the properties to make sure these agreements are being upheld. Section 1313 of Chapter 13 of the Appendix of the 1973 Edition of the Uniform Building Code is the code used for these inspections.

Construction code enforcement

Compliance Services enforces the state and local construction codes. These codes include the building, plumbing, electrical and mechanical codes under the Oregon One & Two Family Dwelling Specialty Code and Uniform Building, Plumbing, and Mechanical Codes and the National Electric Code. Additionally, the section also enforces the Department of Environmental Quality Rules and the Oregon Administrative Rules.

Building inspectors inspect construction without permit violations. Compliance Services provide enforcement actions. Civil penalties and relief from the City's Code Hearings Officers may be used to achieve compliance.

Dangerous buildings enforcement

Compliance Services inspects fire-damaged one and two-family dwellings. We respond to Portland Fire reports. After inspection, we decide if repairs are necessary and write reports about any violations found. The reports decide the extent and nature of structural repairs. We base the reports on standard framing practices and the One and Two Family Dwelling Code. Inspectors work with property owners, contractors and insurance companies. Most of the time, fire damaged buildings can be returned to safe and legal conditions.

Compliance inspects potentially dangerous buildings. We require that an owner of a dangerous building make repairs or demolish the building. After we notify them, they must include timelines for repairs or demolition. Property owners may schedule a hearing with the City Hearings Office to obtain compliance with the code. Sometimes, summary demolition (demolition by the City's contractors) occur as a result of an imminent hazard.

Zoning code enforcement

Compliance enforces the City's zoning code (Title 33). This includes environmental zone violations and enforcing regulations. This also includes conditions of approvals tied to land use review cases. Compliance also enforce a section in Title 16 of the City Code. This is for automobile businesses parking and/or storing vehicles being repaired or displayed for sale in the right-of-way.

Compliance also conducts inspections and issue approvals. We do this for Home Occupation Permits and on Zoning Permits for developments such as landscaping, fences, sheds and driveways.