Inspection Services Divisions

Building Inspection Division (BID) is responsible for inspecting the construction of all new and existing buildings and structures for conformity with approved plans and permits, and for compliance with state and local building code requirements. BID responds to emergency situations and complaints of unsafe structures, work without permit, and prepares Notices of Violation as necessary. Unabated cases are referred to Code Enforcement for Director’s Hearings and further action. This division also conducts inspections for Police and Fire permits issued by those agencies and issues Noise Permits for construction work at night as prescribed in the San Francisco Police Code.


Code Enforcement Section (CES) investigates complaints of violations of the Building, Plumbing and Electrical Codes and employs abatement procedures to correct code deficiencies. This section also initiates follow-up enforcement when cases have been referred by other divisions within DBI by holding Director’s Hearings and referring cases to the City Attorney for litigation. Assessment fees are collected from building owners that have code violations in order to recover costs incurred by investigations. The section also assists in the preparation and issuance of Emergency Orders for imminent hazards arising from natural disasters and emergencies.

Condo Conversion (CC) program processes requests and performs inspections for condominium conversion in residential and commercial buildings.

Disable Access Services (DAS) receives and processes accessibility complaints and answers California Building Code (CBC) questions related to accessibility. It also coordinates the Access appeals Commission (ACC) and issues regarding the American with Disability Act (ADA).

Special Inspection (SI) processes and reviews Special Inspection reports and monitors Special Inspection field work.

Unreinforced Masonry Building (UMB) program monitors and inspects UMB seismic upgrades.


Electrical Inspection Division (EID) provides for personnel and structure safety by inspecting electrical, life safety, and communication systems to ensure compliance with the adopted codes and regulations.Code Intrepretations & Guidelines Informational Bulletin #2007-1 (Effective January 1, 2008)


Housing Inspection Services (HIS) implements and enforces the San Francisco Housing Code and pertinent related City Codes. HIS establishes and maintains minimum maintenance standards for existing residential buildings to safeguard life, limb, health, property, and public welfare by conducting periodic health and safety inspections and responding to tenant complaints.HIS is also responsible for the Code Enforcement Outreach Program which is designed to provide support to tenants, owners and the Department of Building Inspection, so that the City and the community can work together to bring housing into code compliance. These are the organizations involved in the Code Enforcement Outreach Program:


Organizations involved in the Code Enforcement Outreach Program

Department of Building Inspection

Housing Inspection Services

1660 Mission Street, 6th Floor

San Francisco, CA 94103

Telephone: (415) 558-6220

Fax: (415) 558-6249


San Francisco Apartment Association

265 Ivy Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

Telephone: (415) 255-2288

Fax: (415) 255-1112

The Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco

427 S. Van Ness Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94103

Telephone: (415) 703-8644

Fax: (415) 703-8639


Tenderloin Housing Clinic

126 Hyde Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

Telephone: (415) 771-9850

Fax: (415) 771-1287

St. Peter’s Housing Committee

474 Valencia Street, Suite 156

San Francisco, CA 94103

Telephone: (415) 487-9203 – general number

(415) 487-9524 – reports number – Spanish speaking

Fax: (415) 487-9022


Chinatown Community Development Center

1525 Grant Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94133

Telephone: (415) 984-1498

Fax: (415) 362-7992

Housing Inspection Services is also responsible for a wide variety of programs with emphasis on the Asthma Task Force Program, The Avian and Pandemic Influenza Program, the Environmental Health and Safety Program, the Lead Hazard Reduction Program and the West Nile Virus Program.

The Asthma Task Force (ATF) Program is responsible in representing the Department at the ATF of the CCSF, as mandated by an ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors (Ordinance No. 72-01, Ordinance Amending Ch. 19A of the Administrative Code by Adding Article II to Establish an Asthma Task Force).

The Avian and Pandemic Influenza (A&PI) Program is responsible in representing the Department as a member in the inter-agencies of CCSF coordinated response that ensures continuity of public and private work forces are maintained in the event of an avian influenza pandemic (refer to e-mail from DHR dated 5/11/06 and Pandemic Flu SFC&C Preparedness distributed by DPH dated 4/14/06).

The Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Programs are responsible in developing policies to reduce the potential for injuries and illnesses of the Department’s employees and to comply with applicable health and safety regulations.

The Lead Hazard Reduction (LHR) Program inspects buildings for compliance with the Work Practices for Lead-Based Paint on Pre-1979 Buildings and Steel Structures legislation (SFBC Ch. 34, Section 3407).

The West Nile Virus (WNV) Program is responsible in representing the Department as a member in the inter-agencies of the CCSF “…planning effort to limit the impact of the WNV in San Francisco ”, as requested by the Director of Health, Department of Public Health (refer to letter dated 5/21/03).

Notice of New & Retroactive Housing Code Requirements for Residental Hotels Grab Bars in Common Bath/Toilet Rooms & Phone Jacks

Notice of New Housing Law on Exterior Wooden Fixed Utility Ladders (PDF) 

Link to Board of Supervisor’s Ordinance No. 255-08 - Ban on Wooden Fixed-Utility ladders

Certified Energy and Water Conservation Inspectors


Plumbing Inspection Division (PID) is responsible for assuring, through inspections, the proper functioning for installations of drainage, water, gas, and other mechanical systems covered in the Plumbing and Mechanical Codes. These inspections are carried out in buildings which are newly constructed, remodeled, or repaired.PID additionally inspects fire sprinkler installations to assure compliance with the plans approved by the Fire Department plan check staff, and conducts inspections as required by various ordinances. Such ordinances include: the Night Club and Massage Parlor Ordinances (which require code compliance prior to business license issuance); and the Boiler Ordinance which requires that PID maintain records, send renewal notices, and prepare Notices of Violations against non-complying property owners.