City of Toledo Code Enforcement Employees Begin Using New Courtesy Notice

City of Toledo Code Enforcement employees will begin using a new courtesy notice for violations on Monday, Jan. 13, which will give property owners an opportunity to correct problems before a costly city cleanup or civil penalty.

“The Code Enforcement division will also perform increased follow-ups with property owners in an effort to reduce violations by one-third and save residents money,” said Code Enforcement Commissioner Dennis Kennedy.

The new notices will be posted at occupied properties to alert residents of property maintenance violations such as abandon vehicles, tall grass, illegal signs, graffiti, improper bulk refuse set outs at the curb, or structural issues. Code enforcement inspectors will conduct a follow-up inspection seven days later, at which time, a traditional violation notice could be issued if the problem has not been corrected.

The city has 11 inspectors who issue about 26,000 violations a year. About 50 percent of violators respond while the other half are issued citations or proceed to court. Voluntary compliance with the courtesy notice program may reduce the number of cleanups that must be performed by the city and cut reinspection costs by thousands of dollars by the end of the year.

“Community groups and property owners asked for us to make this change, and implement a new courtesy notice because many times we have issued a citation for a problem the property owner was not previously aware of,” Mr. Kennedy said. “Many times people say: ‘why didn’t you just tell me about this before giving me a ticket?’ We think this will reduce code violations because we believe people truly want to be compliant with the code but they may be unaware of violations on their properties.”