Submit A Housing Or Neighborhood Complaint

Housing Complaints

Residents of the building are encouraged to submit a letter to the property owner requesting the necessary repairs in writing. A sample letter is provided here:

Request for Repair 14-Day Notice (Click the "Submit" button and "Print" two copies: (mail/send to the owner - save a copy for your records).

If the repairs are not underway within 14 days or the issue is an emergency:

  • A complaint may be made by notifying Citizens First at 434-856-2489 or the Code Compliance Division of Community Development at 434-455-3910.
  • The issue will be issued a housing case number and assigned to an inspector.
  • The inspector will attempt to contact the owner to set up a time and date to inspect the property. An inspection can also be scheduled by the tenant of the property.
  • If the owner (or tenant) agrees to let the inspector inside the building, the inspector will conduct the inspection to determine if code violations exist.
  • If the owner cannot be contacted or no one is available to let the inspector inside the building, the inspector will conduct the inspection based on what is visible from the street.
  • Any violations noted will be listed on an Inspection Report/Violation Notice along with a date of the follow-up inspection on which the violations should be abated.
  • Additional time may be given to correct the violations if there has been sufficient progress.
  • Should little or no progress be made, the inspector has the option to serve the owner a summons to the General District Court to show why the violations have not been abated.

Neighborhood Complaints

These concerns are typically about tall grass, inoperable vehicles, illegal dumping, or blighted buildings in your neighborhood; examples of code violations include:

  • Weeds such as plants, grass, or vegetation over 12 inches in height, excluding trees, ornamental shrubbery, vegetable and flower gardens, cultivated crops, undisturbed fields, or woodlands.
  • Inoperative motor vehicles, trailers, or semi-trailers that are not in operating condition. This includes vehicles that do not have valid license plates or inspection decals as well as those vehicles with plates or decals that expired more than 60 days prior.
  • Household trash and abandoned materials. Illegal dumping does not include items of a personal nature such as children's toys, bikes, and other similar items.
  • Exterior building issues such as significant peeling paint or damaged foundations, exterior walls, roofs, private stairs, walking surfaces, decks, porches, or chimneys. Note that owners of buildings that have been vacant for more than 12 months and not connected to utilities for 6 months are required to register their building with the City.

If you have questions or to request an inspector to investigate a possible neighborhood issue:

  • A complaint may be made by notifying Citizens First at 434-856-2489 or the Code Compliance Division of Community Development at 434-455-3910.
  • The issue will be issued a case number and assigned to an inspector.
  • The inspector will conduct the inspection to determine if code violations exist.
  • If violations are noted, a letter listing the violation along with a date of the follow-up inspection on which the violations should be abated will be provided to the owner and/or posted on the property.
  • If the violations are not abated, a City crew will cut the grass or clean up the trash and bill the owner for the work. In the case of inoperable motor vehicles, the vehicle will be towed and the owner will be responsible for the towing and impound fee.
  • Blighted buildings are inspected in a similar fashion to the housing complaints that were previously noted.