The Codes Compliance Division regularly receives complaints from adjacent property owners or building occupants concerning conditions that may violate the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code or city ordnances. Complaints regarding exterior conditions that can be seen from a public way can be anonymous. Complaints regarding interior conditions must be in writing so that inspectors can legally enter the building. When filing an interior complaint, the following guidance should be followed:
- If there is an emergency condition, call 911 and get to the outside of the building! Natural or liquid propane gas leaks, continued electrical arching, smoke smell, fuel leakage, collapsing structures, or malfunctioning furnaces require immediate attention from the fire department.
- Conditions that affect life safety, including sewage spills, non-functioning plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems, should be reported to the owner or duly designated agent for the owner immediately. You can notify the Codes Compliance Division as well. The goal is to assist both the occupant and the owner in remedying the situation quickly, and early intervention can bring additional resources to the table.
- Normal maintenance issues such as hole repairs, floor covering problems, damaged or leaking plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems that do not create an immediate hazard should be reported to the owner or agent orally and in writing. Most owners will respond immediately, but the Codes Compliance Division recommends that you give five working days before contacting their office with a complaint. Make sure you know your obligations as agreed to in your lease before you call!