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PLI UNDERSTANDING VIOLATIONS

Code Enforcement

The purpose of the Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections Code Enforcement is to protect the health, safety, and welfare in existing buildings and structures. PLI enforces the International Property Maintenance Code as adopted by the City of Pittsburgh Code of Ordinances Title 10 Chapter 1004. PLI is also responsible for enforcing the Zoning Code – Title Nine.

Understanding Notices of Violation

Many inspections originate from requests called, texted, tweeted or electronically submitted to the 311 Response Center. These requests are anonymous and each request prompts an inspection.

Once an inspector receives a request, it follows a standardized process developed to ensure legal notice and a reasonable compliance period is given to property owners where violations may exist. See workflow chart.

If you receive a notice of violation and wish to speak to an inspector, please call their direct number located on the letter you received in the mail.

If you must leave a voicemail, the inspectors will make every effort to call you back as quickly as possible. Please give them a day to respond. Once you reach an inspector, you will be able to discuss any violations or schedule an appointment to meet with the inspector at the property in violation.

If you do not respond to the Notice of Violation and do not comply with the notice, the inspector will do a second inspection and send a second notice. The property owner, again, has the opportunity to reach out to the inspector and bring their property into compliance.

After a third and final inspection, the inspector will be prompted to submit court documents to the local magistrate in order to achieve compliance. Once the magistrate receives the paperwork, they will schedule a hearing and send hearing documents to the property owner of record. At the hearing, it will be the property owner’s responsibility to prove that their property is not in violation.

Violations

Types of Violations PLI Enforces

  • Weeds and/or debris on a property
  • Abandoned vehicles on private property only
  • Sidewalks that are a tripping hazard
  • Electrical Violations
  • Building Violations

Violations Enforced by Other City Departments

Police Bureau

  • Abandoned vehicles in the Public Right of Way

Animal Control

  • Any issues involving animals

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA)

  • Sewer or catch basins

City Planning

  • Residential parking issues

Public Works

  • Snow and ice removal
  • Potholes

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I file a complaint?

Call 311 Response Center at 311 or 412-255-2621 or file an electronic complaint form. After complaint is filed with 311, it is forwarded to the PLI Code Enforcement Inspectors or responsible department.

How can I determine who owns the property?

You can use the Allegheny County Real Estate Website to find the owner of record for a property. Please note that PLI is not responsible for the accuracy of content on websites external to the City of Pittsburgh site.

What can PLI do about vacant properties owned by the URA or the City?

If there is a violation with City Ordinances, the city or the URA will be cited. Steps will be taken to raze or clean and secure the building, whichever is applicable.

I received a notice of violation for my sidewalk but it is uplifted by a City tree, what do I do?

If a City tree is uplifting the sidewalk in front of your property, the property owner is responsible to fix the sidewalk. The Forestry department will prune the tree prior to the replacement of the sidewalk. Please review the proper procedure here.