Learn more about the types of fee-paid inspections we offer. Then, request an inspection by email or mail.
Before you request a fee-paid inspection
You may need to bring your property up to code before you request an inspection. If the City finds that unpermitted work was done in your attic or basement you must get permits and bring the work up to current code standards.
If we find that you need to fix some items:
- You must fix them before anyone moves into the property.
- You must correct the items even if the property is sold. Or, set up a plan with the buyer or mortgage company to bring the property up to code.
- You must fix any issues within 30 days of getting a letter from us. Or, you may have to pay fines until the property is up to code and inspected again.
Check the permit history for a house
Depending on the age of your house, we may have inspection cards or microfilmed plans that show the permit history for your house. If a finished attic or basement was not permitted, it will need to be legalized through the new permit as if the work was not already done.
Some records are available online. Please visit our How to Request Public Property Records webpage.
Learn more about standards for livable space in attics and basements
Our guide for attic and basement livable space standards explains City requirements:
Types of code enforcement inspections you can request
- Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)
- Attic Inspection
- Basement Inspection
- Building Code Evaluation
- Electrical Code Evaluation
- Mechanical Code Evaluation
- Plumbing Code Evaluation
- Type B Accessory Short-Term Rental Inspection
Once we receive payment, an inspector will contact you to set up the inspection.
The voluntary ADU inspection happens before you apply
If you plan to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) you may decide to have an ADU inspection before you apply for permits. You can choose to have an inspection when converting a garage or inside living space to an ADU.
This inspection explains changes needed for the project to meet code requirements. After the inspection, we'll give you an inspection report. The report will list any changes you need to make before building the ADU. For questions about ADU inspections, contact Residential Inspections.
Attic and basement inspections available upon request
We can provide inspections upon request when you plan to change an attic or basement to a habitable space or additional units. We also do inspections when the permit records don't explain the past use of the attic or basement.
Sometimes the building permit records show only one-story or no basement. But, the original second floor attic or basement space was built as living space. The inspection helps us find out if the attic and basement areas were built to be used as living space.
We inspect the space set-up and the finish materials. We check floor finish, wall cover material, window trim, head height, and stair construction. We also check ceiling height, stair construction, window size and depth of floor framing.
The finish material in the attic or basement may vary from those found on the first floor. We have to consider what type of finishes were typical for the style of the house when it was built. We also check for a fireplace in basements without daylight.
After the inspection, we'll update City records to explain how you can change the second floor/attic space or basement.
For questions about attic and basement inspections, please call the Property Compliance Help Line.
Request building, electrical, mechanical, plumbing code evaluations
Sometimes, people ask us to inspect the electrical, mechanical, plumbing or structural conditions of a home. The inspector does an inspection and creates a list of items that aren't up to code. This is not a “home inspection” or a "private home inspection."
For questions about code evaluations, please contact Residential Inspections.
Type B Accessory Short-Term Rental inspection
If your land use application gets approved for a Type B Accessory Short-Term Rental application, we'll inspect the bedrooms you plan to rent to overnight guests. The bedrooms:
- met the Building Code requirements for a sleeping room at the time they were built or converted;
- have a smoke detector that is connected with a smoke detector in a hallway next to the bedroom; and
- have a functioning carbon monoxide alarm. If the unit doesn't have a carbon monoxide source, then you aren't required to have a carbon monoxide alarm.
We charge an inspection fee if any required smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are not installed. For questions about Type B Accessory Short-Term Rental inspections please contact the Property Compliance Help Line.
Request an inspection by email or mail
Fill out the Residential Fee-Paid Inspection Request form to request an inspection:
Make sure to include:
- Address for the inspection
- Owner/agent name, address and phone number
- The address to send the report with a phone number
- The name and phone number we should contact to arrange the inspection
City of Portland BDS
Attn: Property Compliance
1900 4th Avenue Suite 5000
Portland, Oregon 97201