Code Enforcement and County Inspection Right of Entry
Washington state has very specific rules on what a county inspector can and can not do to access your property to inspect for county code violations.
SECTION 7 INVASION OF PRIVATE AFFAIRS OR HOME PROHIBITED. No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.
Landlord’s right of entry—Purposes—Searches by fire officials—Searches by code enforcement officials for inspection purposes—Conditions.
“(4)(a) A search warrant may be issued by a judge of a superior court or a court of limited jurisdiction under Titles 3, 35, and 35ARCW to a code enforcement official of the state or of any county, city, or other political subdivision for the purpose of allowing the inspection of any specified dwelling unit and premises to determine the presence of an unsafe building condition or a violation of any building of any specified dwelling unit and premises to determine the presence of an unsafe building condition or a violation of any building regulation, statute, or ordinance.”
“(b) A search warrant must only be issued upon application of a designated officer or employee of a county or city prosecuting or regulatory authority supported by an affidavit or declaration made under oath or upon sworn testimony before the judge, establishing probable cause that a violation of a state or local law, regulation, or ordinance regarding rental housing exists and endangers the health or safety of the tenant or adjoining neighbors. In addition, the affidavit must contain a statement that consent to inspect has been sought from the owner and the tenant but could not be obtained because the owner or the tenant either refused or failed to respond within five days, or a statement setting forth facts or circumstances reasonably justifying the failure to seek such consent. A landlord may not take or threaten to take reprisals or retaliatory action as defined in RCW 59.18.240 against a tenant who gives consent to a code enforcement official of the state or of any county, city, or other political subdivision to inspect his or her dwelling unit to determine the presence of an unsafe building condition or a violation of any building regulation, statute, or ordinance.”
This means that the County Inspector can not enter the property without the owner’s or tenant’s permission. Furthermore they should state the purpose of the inspection and provide specific notice of why they are there, what county code that they suspect is violated, what are your rights, and how the situation can be corrected.
Kitsap Allaince is especially interested in defending against the County’s overreach in the area of “Code Enforcement” We request feedback from you about your experience with Code Enforcement activities by Kitsap County.
- Please let us know how you were treated by County personnel.
- Did they contact you by letter, posting a notice on your property, or by visiting you?
- Did County personnel describe your Code Violation by specifying the paragraph violated
- and define how to rectify it?
Please contact us at your earliest convenience and tell us about your case. You can contact us by filling out this form: