Code Violations List: Finding A List Of Code Violation Properties

Published on May 25, 2023

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Code Violations List

Code Violations List

Many real estate investors avoid buying properties with code violations for fear that they would only cause them a headache. While this may be true in certain cases, there are a lot of code violation properties that are still promising.

To find a list of code violation properties, you may want to consider buying leads from LeadVine, contacting local health department, city's councilmen’s office, inspectors, zoning and planning department, city secretary or clerk, city council meeting’s minutes, neighbors, realtors, title companies, wholesalers, landscapers, the fire department, etc.

To learn more about the most common code violations, the pros and cons of buying houses with code violations, and where to find a list of these properties, check out the rest of this blog!

What are Code Violations in a Property?

What are Code Violations in a Property?

A code violation is a violation of a country or city's building code, health code, zoning code, and other regulations that are meant to ensure the maintenance of a property as well as maintain health and safety standards.

Code violations can range from minor repairs to major structural issues and safety hazards which significantly lowers the market value of a property. 

Some investors target code violation properties because they can buy them for cheap, make repairs, and sell them at a much higher after-repair price or ARV. 

Most Common Types of Code Violations

If you haven't bought a code violation property before, here are the common code violations that make houses sell below market value:

HVAC: The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system of a property may be improperly installed, has mold growth, has missing or damaged parts, has exhaust vents that aren't working correctly, or has missing or damaged parts.

  • Zoning Violations: Some causes of zoning violations are using the property for a commercial establishment when it's meant to be a residential area and vice versa, building without permit from the city, or violating some setback requirements.
  • Illegal Additions: Illegal additions may pose safety risks. Some examples of it are unauthorized sheds, partitions, plumbing, decks, porches, patios, electrical work, and storage sheds.
  • Gutters and Downspouts: Gutters that aren't installed properly and downspouts that are not attached correctly to the gutter can cause water to reach the foundation of the house. Debris on gutters and downspouts is also a violation.
  • Electrical Issues: Some common electrical violations or electrical issues include outlets that are exposed, incorrect wiring, damaged outlet covers, use of extension cord as permanent wiring, etc.
  • Staircases: Another common code violation are staircases with steep risers are generally too narrow, as well as staircases with handrails that are not attached properly or are missing. 
  • Banisters and Guardrails: Banisters that are not attached properly to the wall, guardrails that are too short, missing handrails, and spindles that are spaced too far from each other can also cause housing code violations.
  • Chimney Tops: Chimneys that are not entirely secured in the house roof, chimneys with damaged or missing caps, and flashing, and other code violations.
  • Attic Ventilation: Some building code violations when it comes to attic ventilation include vents that are covered with debris, not enough vents, and damaged or missing vent covers. 
  • Plumbing: Violations related to plumbing are leaking pipes, clogged toilets and drains, wrong pipes and tubings, and improper installation of plumbing fixtures.
  • Fence Height: Fences that are too high or too low can also be the cause or a code violation. Pros and Cons of Buying a Home with a Code Violation

Before you go searching for a code violation deal for your real estate investing business, it's important that you weigh its benefits and risks. This is so you won't waste your time and money in the long run.

Here are the pros of code violation properties:

  • Sold below market price
  • The sellers are really motivated to sell
  • You would have less competition because many investors avoid these properties

Meanwhile, here are the cons of code violation properties:

  • The damage or code violation can be difficult to bring up to code. 
  • Code violation deals can be time consuming.
  • Some sellers are super uncooperative.
  • This may require a large sum of money.

How to Find a List of Properties with Code Violations

Although code violation properties are not as common as foreclosure or probate, you can still find this type of property fast if you know where to look. In this part or the blog, we'll share some of the best sources or code violation properties in your county.


LeadVine is a real estate data provider that offers widow leads, pre-probate, pre-inherited, tax delinquents, probate, divorce leads, and other distressed properties which may not be up to code. Unlike other data company that procures data from other companies, LeadVine get their data from the source. In addition, all their data are already skip traced so you no longer have to. 

Local Health Department

Your local health department may have a code violations list of properties that poses potential health hazards to the community. They may be willing to sell the list to you or give it to you for free. 

City's Councilmen’s Office

Your city councilmen are often in-charge of redevelopment programs in your community. As such, they would have a record of properties that are not up to code and should be improved. Although, they rarely give copies of their list, you can still give it a try.


Different types of building inspectors can build you a code violation property list or can direct you to someone who can since they're the main individuals involved in identifying these violations. For examples, treat inspectors may have a list of properties with pest problems. 

Zoning and Planning Department

The zoning and planning department of your city or county are updated not only with zoning maps, what the city is planning to build, etc. but also properties with violations related to zoning. For instance, they can provide you with a list of commercial properties built on residential areas and vice versa.

Violations Inspectors from the City Hall

Violation inspectors from the city hall may not be around on their office all the time what will all the inspecting they are doing but you can always get ahold of their staff and ask for a list of code violation properties. If you are lucky, they mag able to provide it to you right away.

City Secretary or Clerk

Your city secretary or clerk holds a lot of records not only of probate or foreclosure properties but also those with code violations. They can provide you with a full or partial list depending on what they have prepared.

City Council Meeting’s Minutes

Your city council's meeting minutes can hold a record of properties with code violations. Hire someone to look for this minutes of the meetings as they may have all the information you need.


Drive around the neighborhood and look for distressed or vacant properties. Head over to its neighbors and ask about the property's state and its owner. Chances are, the neighbors know whether the property and the owner are indeed under a code violation. You can then send message to the owner that you are interested.


Realtors are the go-to of many homeowners when their property go against a code and they have no money to make repairs or other necessary actions. These realtors know how hard it is to sell code violation properties so they pass it on real estate investors.

Title Companies

Many deals fall apart because of code violations. And aside from the real estate agent, inspector, and lender, title companies are the first to know about this. Contacting title companies can provide you with a steady stream of code violation deals.


The MLS or multiple listing service used by realtors is where most motivated sellers post their homes for sale. This includes properties with code violations. You can identify a code violation property owner or code violation properties by reading listing descriptions in your target areas.


Wholesalers are the masters of finding deals that are below market value. They specialize in distressed properties including those with code violations. You can buy a contract from wholesalers regarding a motivated owner — just prepare for an extra fee.

Newspaper People and Couriers

Newspaper people and couriers can be your bird dogs or scouts in your target community. Since they deliver newspapers and packages every day to every house owner, they are well aware of the changes in the neighborhood — who moved out, which properties have gone vacant, which aren't up to code, etc.


Landscapers are also in direct contact with homeowners. They can let you know which properties have code violations related to landscaping and other data provided by other sources. They can also serve as bird dogs for you for non-landscaping related code violations and safety issues.

Fire Department

The fire department can not only provide you with a list of properties that have code violations related to fire hazard and substandard structures but also other distressed properties they heard about in the neighborhood. Since most firemen also hold several activities with the community, they are good sources and bird dogs for closed violations.

Leverage the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Freedom of Information Act can also help you get ahold of a list of code violation properties. You can request this online most of the time but the data provided may be controversial.

Pest/Vector/Animal Control Companies

Pest control companies will have a list of code violation properties that have pest issues since they are often contacted by homeowners with pest issues, hoarding issues that lead to pests, and more.

Local Police and Code Enforcement Officers

Of course, the local police and code enforcement officer of your county would have a list of code violation properties since they are the ones who enforce the law. They make sure that the homeowners are able to implement changes to bring their houses up to code.

Final Thoughts: Finding A List Of Code Violation Properties From Relevant External Resources

Code violation properties can provide great opportunities to real estate investors so long as they know how to analyze deals and they have the money to make repairs. As listed above, there are several ways to find code violation properties in your area. If you want to skip all the hassle, just prioritize LeadVine!

Alternatively, you can also land code violation deals from seller leads sold by Property Leads. We generate highly motivated seller leads from SEO so you are guaranteed a high success rate.

To get your first leads from us, fill out the form below!

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