We promote compliance with community standards through enforcement of applicable zoning codes and regulations in the Broward County Code of Ordinances. We enforce those standards by addressing property maintenance problems that negatively impact neighborhoods in the Broward Municipal Services District (BMSD), including the following:
- Overgrown grass and noxious vegetation
- Improperly stored inoperable or derelict vehicles and vessels (boats)
- Parking or storage of prohibited commercial vehicles in residential neighborhoods
- Unauthorized commercial activities occurring within residential neighborhoods
- Open-air storage of prohibited items
- Discolored building exteriors and graffiti
- Illegal advertising signs
- Landscaping neglect
- Buildings showing visible signs of neglect and disrepair
- Abandoned property
- Improper storage of garbage, recycling carts, and dumpsters
- Construction work without zoning approval and permits
- Minimum housing code standards
We also work to accomplish neighborhood revitalization and the quality of life through many programs, including:
- Education and citizen outreach
- Community leadership surveys
- Proactive code compliance patrol
- Land clearance abatement
- Junk property abatement
- Free paint distribution assistance
- Partnering with neighborhood civic associations
- Periodic code enforcement neighborhood sweeps
- Abandoned and vacant real property registration and maintenance
BMSD Lien Amnesty Program: extended to September 30, 2018
Broward County is offering an incentive for property owners to bring their homes and businesses into compliance with County codes. For a limited time, under the BMSD Lien Amnesty Program, owners who bring their properties into compliance with County codes may have existing liens reduced up to 100%.
- Available to all residential and commercial property owners with outstanding Code Enforcement liens in the BMSD.
- Code Enforcement liens (for County Zoning Code and Florida Building Code violations) are eligible for up to 100% reduction when the entire property is brought into full compliance with the codes.
- Property Maintenance liens, imposed by the Board of County Commissioners, are eligible under this program only for reduction in interest and administrative fees (actual cost paid by the County must be paid.)
- County liens on properties that have been annexed are not eligible for this BMSD program.
- Property taxes must be paid in full.
- Property owners must not have any active code enforcement violations on other BMSD properties.
- Liens arising from the Unsafe Structure Board are not eligible under this program and must be paid in full prior to applying for the Program, (or may be reduced by action of the Board of County Commissioners.)
- Owners complete an application form and pay a non-refundable $250.00 application fee per property (which includes the lien release fee).
- Property owners with multiple Code Enforcement liens on one property must apply for a reduction of every lien on the property simultaneously under the Program.
- Properties will be inspected to confirm that no zoning or building code violations exist.
This Program is being administered by the Planning and Development Management Division (PDMD)/Code Enforcement Section. Hours of availability are 9AM to 3:30PM daily, excluding weekends and legal holidays. Please schedule an appointment to discuss specific information or amounts owned.
1 University Drive, Mailbox 102A, Plantation FL 33324,
Residential Rental Certificate of Use
Landlord Registration and Residential Rental Inspection Ordinance
In order to encourage proactive compliance with property maintenance standards, protect property values, preserve the quality of unincorporated area neighborhoods and prevent blight, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners approved The Landlord Registration and Residential Rental Property Inspection Program Ordinance 2013-28 on June 11, 2013.
Our Zoning Code Compliance Officers spend much of their time investigating complaints from neighbors and tenants of rental properties regarding:
- Poor property maintenance
- Substandard living conditions
- Absentee landlords that cannot be readily contacted
This program establishes an annual Residential Rental Certificate of Use registration, which allows us:
- The ability to contact landlords, or their designee
- Quicker assistance to address health and safety violations, minimum housing code complaints or emergency situations at residential rental units
Beginning October 1, 2013, each person who leases or rents a residential rental unit to a tenant or lessee will be required to obtain a Certificate of Use and pass a cursory exterior property inspection prior to entering into any lease, agreement, or renewal for the unit. This only applies to properties that are located within the Unincorporated Ares of Broward County. In order to obtain a Certificate of Use, an application along with the $75 annual registration fee must be submitted. A code enforcement officer will perform an exterior property inspection and an inspection report will be provided to the applicant indicating any outstanding code violations or lot-clearing liens or bills.
Failure to register and have the required Certificate of Use may result in civil penalties for the property owner or landlord.
Reporting a Code Violation
There are several ways to report a possible code violation:
If you wish to be contacted regarding the status of the investigation, please provide your contact information or email address, and request a follow-up call or email. You may remain anonymous if you wish, but in some instances more information may be needed in order to investigate certain complaints on private property.
When reporting a possible violation, you should provide us with the exact address of the building, unit number if applicable, or as specific a location as possible to enable the officer to locate the property. Then describe the condition you have observed. After receiving a citizen request, we will inspect any property as soon as possible to determine if a code violation exists. Health and safety related complaints are the highest priority. If a violation is found, a notice will be either hand-delivered or mailed to the property owner or they may receive a door hanger requiring compliance by a certain date.
Locate your Code Enforcement Officer
||Jill La Cerra
|Hillsboro Pines and Hillsboro Ranches
||Jill La Cerra
|Code Enforcement Supervisor
|Commercial and Industrial Areas/FLL Airport Perimeter
Receiving a Notification of Violation
If you receive a notice of violation, carefully read the notice to find out what the violation is, correct the problem, and do so promptly. If you are not sure what the violation(s) are for or would like to speak with the issuing officer please contact them using the information provided on the notice. You can ask for additional time, provided you are making progress on the violations. Some of the problems may be serious and correction should not be delayed.
If appropriate action to correct the problems is not taken, there are several possible consequences. If legal action becomes necessary, your case may be forwarded to a hearing and you will be requested to appear before the Broward County Code Enforcement Special Magistrate to explain your case. The Special Magistrate is authorized to issue orders commanding compliance with the code of ordinances and daily running fines may occur until the violations are corrected, which could result in liens being recorded against your property.
A Code Enforcement Officer may also issue a non-criminal citation with fines, for violations that exist or remain uncorrected. Penalties range from $50-$250for first offenses and $100-$500 for repeat violations. In addition, the county may arrange for health and safety violations to be abated, such as a property to be mowed or cleared of junk items, junk vehicles and other nuisances.
Avoiding Common Code Violations
Be a good neighbor by preventing the following common code violations from happening on your property:
Deterioration of Structures
||Maintenance of a structure is the responsibility of the property owner/resident. All exterior surfaces of your home should be free of any deterioration, such as peeling or chipping paint, signs of mildew, discoloration, damaged or missing doors, windows and rotten wood and fascia boards. |
Junk, Trash, Rubbish & Abandoned Items
Accumulation of junk and debris such as appliances, furniture, auto parts, tires, vegetation cuttings, building materials, and other trash cannot be left in the yard or public right-of-way areas.
Trash containers and bulk items should not be placed out for collection more than 24 hours prior to your garbage day.
||Motor vehicles, including passenger automobiles, RV’s, and trailers, are required to be in operable, street-worthy condition unless kept in a fully enclosed structure, such as a garage. An inoperable vehicle is one that is unable to start and be driven under its own power or showing signs of disrepair which renders it unable to be operated on the public street, such as flat tires or missing parts. |
Junk Vehicles & Vessels
||Wrecked, dismantled, partially dismantled and inoperative motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, trailers, and vessels are not to be stored in view from public areas and adjacent properties. Junk vehicles must be kept in a garage of removed from property. |
Lots, Lawns & Swale Maintenance
||Yard maintenance is the responsibility of every property owner/resident and includes the maintenance of the grassy swale area between the sidewalk and the street. Grass should be no taller than six (6) inches tall and maintained in a weed-free condition; required landscaping, such as trees and shrubs must be maintained. |
Repair of Motor Vehicles in Residential Areas
Major auto repair in residential areas is not permitted. Only mechanical repairs to private passenger vehicles belonging to occupants of a dwelling are permitted inside of a residential garage.
Only minor repairs limited to tire, battery, sparkplug, or oil replacement may be performed in a carport or in the open air on a driveway.
||No building, structure or addition should be constructed, erected, or altered unless required permits are first obtained for such work. Most permanent structures, such as canopies and sheds, also require compliance with the zoning code and must meet setback requirements, height limits, and separation distances. Work done without permits may be required to be removed if unable to pass inspections. |
||Commercial vehicles and equipment are not permitted to be stored on residential property or in residential areas unless they can be concealed or stored in a completely enclosed structure, garage or carport. Only one (1) commercial vehicle weighing less than 5,000 lbs. is allowed on residential property. |
Prohibited Outside Storage
||Outdoor storage of items such as household appliances, engine parts, engine lifts, indoor furniture, commercial goods, broken patio furniture, and any items which are not designed for outdoor use is strictly prohibited. The items are not only unsightly, but can become hazardous during high wind conditions. |
Being a Good Neighbor
We receive many complaints of neighborhood nuisances that impact residents and neighbors. Often, there are regulations that prohibit public nuisances that may solve your neighbor problems.
However, there are certain neighborhood problems that do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Broward County Zoning Code. Many of the disputes that arise between neighbors are private nuisances or civil problems that do not violate public law.
A public nuisance is one which affects an entire community or neighborhood or any considerable number of persons, although the extent of the annoyance or damage inflicted upon individuals may be unequal.
A private nuisance is generally considered to be something that affects a single individual or a number of individuals with regard to a private right not enjoyed by the public at large.
An example of a private nuisance would be:
Issue: A neighbor’s fruit tree has limbs or branches that extend over your property line. The falling fruit or leaves create a mess in your yard.
Items from trees such as leaves, fruits, and seeds which fall from a tree and end up on other properties are considered to be natural occurrences and are the responsibility of the owner of the property where the items have fallen. Property owners have the right to cut branches and roots from a tree that extends over the boundary line onto their property, but should try to notify the property owner where the tree is planted before performing the work. You should only cut back parts of trees that are necessary and up to your property line and be careful not to affect the structural integrity of a tree by improper trimming.
Solution: Neighborhood disputes are best handled by approaching the neighbor and attempting to arrive at a solution acceptable to both. Most people want to be good neighbors and are willing to cooperate once the issue is brought to their attention.
Make contact with the responsible person
Describe your perception of the problem, how the problem affects you and possible solutions
Attend Neighborhood Association meetings
File a complaint with us
Avoiding Neighbor Disputes
If you have a tree which sheds leaves or other droppings onto your neighbor’s yard, get to know your neighbors and make sure that it is not causing a nuisance. Offer assistance to help dispose of the leaves or maintain the tree to prevent any unnecessary hardships.
Don’t Let Things Fester
There are many situations where a Code Enforcement Officer may be able to help you determine if a nuisance may be addressed by the Community Code Compliance Section.
For more information or assistance, please call us at 954-357-9700.
Abandoned and Vacant Real Property
Registration and Certifcation Ordinance
In response to recent events in the housing market which have led to a drastic rise in the number of foreclosed homes located within unincorporated Broward County, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners approved Ordinance 2009-80: The Abandoned/Vacant Real Property Registration and Certification Program on December 8, 2009. This ordinance serves to protect the unincorporated residential neighborhoods from becoming blighted through the lack of adequate maintenance and security of abandoned and vacant properties.
The Abandoned/Vacant Real Property Registration and Certification Program requires mortgage lenders to inspect defaulted, residential properties to confirm that they are occupied. If a property is found to be vacant, the program requires that the lender exercise the abandonment clause within their mortgage contract, register the property with the county, along with the $150.00 registration fee within 10 days and immediately begin to secure and maintain the property to program standards. Failure to properly register required properties may subject the mortgagee to the minimum civil penalty of $250.00 for the first offense. Subsequent violation may be subject to a minimum penalty of $500.00. Additional citations may be issued for failure to maintain and secure abandoned and vacant properties.
The inspections and certification portion of this program offers some protection for purchasers of foreclosed residential properties in the unincorporated areas of Broward County by requiring all title holders of these properties which are acquired through a Certificate of Title (Foreclosures and Judgments), in accordance with Chapter 45, Florida State Statutes or under a deed in lieu of foreclosure/sale to obtain a Certificate of Foreclosure Inspection prior to offering the property for sale, transfer, or other alienation. This requirement allows for the performance of a cursory visual inspection of the property and an inspection report by a code enforcement officer to provide a disclosure of any non-compliance with property maintenance codes, outstanding county liens and/or special assessments encumbering the property, and to identify any outstanding building permits.