Our mission is to ensure that the City’s and State’s codes are properly implemented. Through the Code Enforcement Office one is able to, among other things, obtain permits and certifications that ensure proper procedures are followed, resulting in a safer city for all.
NO CASH ACCEPTED – we only accept checks or money orders.
Written Determinations are made by the zoning official only. Zoning Determinations will be made within seven days of the submission of a written request and cost $50. Applications are available at the office and on this website (below).
Legal Use of Property Inspections
Property Maintenance Code Inspections, New Construction Inspections, and Renovation Inspections are free of charge. Entertainment License Inspections and Certificate of Occupancy Inspections cost $100. ALL INSPECTIONS ARE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
These are done on a daily basis and monetary fines are imposed for violators. We also enforce abandoned vehicle laws and the proper placement of trash bags placed directly on the sidewalk.
Building & Construction Division
Permits for the construction of new buildings and major renovations are by appointment only and must be applied for at least 30 days prior to the anticipated start of project. New construction or major renovation permit applications must include RI stamped architectural drawings signed by the architect or engineer. If you are not sure whether you need a permit or an architectural drawing, please call us for further information.
All building inspections for new construction must be called in ahead of time. We require soil, footing, foundation, rough frame, (after the electrical and plumbing rough is approved), insulation, wallboard, and final inspection by the plumbing, mechanical, and electrical inspectors, as well as public works, and the fire department. All signatures must be on the Certificate of Occupancy application prior to calling for final inspection by the Building Official.
Minor Renovations that are not structural in nature may not require a permit. However it would be prudent to call ahead prior to commencing work. And remember to hire a RI State-registered contractor. These contractors carry the proper insurance and can be held legally accountable and fined by the State Contractors Registration Board if they fail to complete a job, cause damage to your home or leave you unsatisfied in any manner.
All electrical, plumbing and mechanical work must be performed by licensed persons! Commercial contractors need not be registered. Commercial roofers however, need a commercial roofer’s license.
RI Property Maintenance Code Division
RI Property Maintenance Code inspections are by appointment only must be verified by the complainant on the day of the inspection and no less than two hours prior to the expected time of the inspector’s arrival. Complaints may be called in or made in person. Complaints usually deal with sub-standard living conditions such as no water, no heat, or any conditions that fail to meet the standards as set forth by the RI General laws of the State of Rhode Island and/or the City of Central Falls Ordinances.
The Environmental division is responsible for the enforcement of rubbish and trash rules, regulations, and ordinances. This includes trash left on City sidewalks for collection, the number of containers, large items or appliances deposited on the sidewalk for pickup, overloaded containers, tall grass and weeds, accumulation of junk on property, unregistered, abandoned vehicles, and any other issue relating to the environment.
The placement of trash bags directly on the sidewalk carries a fine. 24-hour warning stickers are affixed to trash left on sidewalks that identify the violation and calls for its immediate removal. A letter is also sent to the owner of the property. After a location receives a warning sticker, a photo of the violation is taken. The inspector then returns in 24 hours to determine compliance. If the violation still exists, a ticket is issued and a photo taken as evidence. Not paying or appealing the fine results in a summons to appear in RI 6th District Court being issued against the property owner. Failure to answer the summons will result in an arrest warrant being issued by the court.
We take this issue very seriously as we attempt to clean up the City. We realize that many property owners keep their properties clean. It is not fair to them that others are not taking care of their property. It is those who are constant violators that need to be reminded that if they do not take care of their property, they will be fined and ordered to District Court if need be. Environmental Inspections are done on a daily basis. We also enforce our abandoned vehicle ordinance. Any vehicle left on private property that is not registered and has no valid inspection sticker and/or is not in a roadworthy condition is “red flagged” for a seven day period to remove, or repair and register. Failure to respond results in the vehicle being towed at the property owner’s expense. Failure to pay the bill results in a lien being placed against the property.
Article IV of Chapter 32 of the City Charter provides that:
According to the Code, house numbers must be at least two inches in height and one-quarter inch wide, be located above or on the side of the building’s front door , at a minimum of three feet from ground level, and should be in a color that contrasts with the building. If the building does not have a front door on the side facing the street, the house number must be “located at a place closest in distance to the street.”
Out of State Landlords
State law requires landlords who are not residents of Rhode Island to register a local agent with the RI Secretary of State. The agent’s role is to accept any process, notice, or demand required or permitted by law to be served, including notices of minimum housing code violations.
HUD Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
America, in every way, represents equality of opportunity for all persons. The rich diversity of its citizens and the spirit that binds us all symbolize the principles of freedom and justice upon which this nation was founded. That is why it is extremely disturbing when new immigrants, minorities, families with children, and persons with disabilities are denied the housing of their choice because of illegal discrimination.
The department of Housing and Urban Development enforces the Fair Housing Act and other federal laws that prohibit discrimination and the intimidation of people in their homes, apartment buildings, and condominium developments – and nearly all housing transactions, including the rental and sale of housing and the provision of mortgage loans.
Equal access to housing and homeownership opportunities is the cornerstone of this nation’s federal housing policy. Landlords who refuse to rent or sell homes to people based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability are violating federal law, and HUD will vigorously pursue them.
Housing discrimination is not only illegal, it contradicts in every way the principles of freedom and opportunity we treasure as Americans. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is committed to ensuring that everyone is treated equally when searching for a place to call home.
To learn more about your fair housing rights, visit HUD’s website: “Fair Housing – It’s Your Right”, or check out their brochure, “Fair Housing: Equal Opportunity for All”. If you believe that you or your family have been the victim of housing discrimination, you can file a complaint with HUD here.
Code Enforcement/Zoning Forms
- Plumbing Permit Application
- Electrical Permit Application
- Mechanical Permit Application
- Building Permit Application
- Moving/Demolition Permit Application
Fees (note: all fees are subject to change; call the division of code enforcement for up-to-date fee information):