Code Enforcement

Code Enforcement’s mission is to protect the health and safety of the Town’s residents and visitors by safeguarding the Town’s Ordinances and State Building Codes. The Town achieves code compliance both by working with our citizens through an efficient and fair process. Staff gives priority to situations where public safety and health are at risk.

Code enforcement is responsible for investigating complaints of violations of the Town's Ordinances on commercial and residential property including: nuisances, zoning/land use, health & safety, minimum housing within corporate limits. Minimum housing violations extend into the Town's ETJ.

Please contact our office at (252) 728-2141 extension 223 or m.eitner [at] beaufortnc.org for more information.

 

How may I file a complaint?

In person: Our office is located at 701 Front Street. Office hours are 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can fill out the Complaint Form below and drop it off at our office.

Phone: Our telephone number is (252) 728-2142. Anyone wishing to speak with a staff person may call this number between the hours of 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Complaints also may be recorded at this same telephone number 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Email: Fill out the complaint form at the bottom of this page and email it to: m.eitner [at] beaufortnc.org

 

 

Are complainants required to identify themselves?

Complainants do not have to identify themselves; although if they would like an inspector to contact them regarding the status of the investigation, their name and daytime telephone number are necessary.

What are the enforcement procedures?

Generally, the enforcement of codes occurs on both a reactive (complaint from a community source) and a proactive (initiated by the inspector) basis. There are however, a number of violations that are enforced after a complaint is received. These include Zoning Ordinance violations, and Nuisance Code violations occurring in enclosed rear yards. Our goal is to encourage both owners and tenants to voluntarily eliminate any violations that may exist so that Beaufort remains a town in which we can be proud to live. When a code violation is reported, we open a complaint and work towards resolving the violation through a process of education, inspection and notices. Continued violations are followed by progressive enforcement. The process generally follows this sequence:

 

  • Complaint received
  • Inspection conducted
  • Notice left at residence or sent to violator allowing time for correction
  • Re-inspection conducted
  • Notice of Hearing
  • Finding of Fact / Order for Abatement
  • Civil Citations issued if violation is not corrected
  • Criminal prosecution filed if not corrected after citation
  • Abate (violation removed by City contractor) and lien

How do I know if I have a violation on my property?

Code Enforcement has many methods of initiating contact. The standard enforcement tool is the "Courtesy Notice." This is a printed document that lists general common violations and detailed required corrective actions to resolve the complaint. The Code Enforcement Officer may add more detailed descriptions of the violation, or describe other violations not listed on the form.

 In most cases, Code Enforcement will try to make contact with occupants by knocking on the door or ringing the doorbell. If there is no answer at the door, a door hanger is left at the front door.  This is used when an investigation is required and the violation or problem may not be clearly visible to the officer. The officer describes the possible problem on the door hanger. Additionally, the officer's name and phone number will be listed with a request that you call within a specified time. Because the violation may not be clearly visible, and a complaint has been filed, the Code Enforcement Officer needs some method of letting the resident know that a possible violation may be on the property.

What happens if I have a violation?

Once a violation has been observed, it is the intent of Code Enforcement to have the resident/property owner come into voluntary compliance. To accomplish this, the resident is normally given 30 days to take whatever action is requested to correct the problem. On the scheduled compliance date, a follow-up inspection is conducted. If the violation is still on the property additional informal and formal steps may be used to gain compliance. 

What can I do if I get a notice and do not understand the violation?

The Courtesy Notice or orange door hanger contains the phone number of the issuing Code Enforcement Officer. Code Enforcement encourages you to call, not only if you have received a violation, but to answer any questions you may have regarding Town ordinances. Code Enforcement is here to work with you to ensure that our community will remain a highly valued place to live.

What if the property is a rental?

For common violations, Code Enforcement will typically try to gain voluntarily compliance from either the resident of the property or the property owner. In the event the resident does not voluntarily comply, Code Enforcement will notify the owner of the property as recorded with the county assessor's office. A Courtesy Notice will be issued to the property owner.

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