Notice of Violation (NOV)

Learn how to read an NOV to fix a code violation.

You may get a Notice of Violation (NOV):

  • From a complaint about a building
  • After an inspection
  • While a permit is being reviewed or processed
  • If you need to stop construction work

If you have a question about your NOV, contact the inspector listed at the bottom of your notice.

Blank copy of a Notice of Violation, which includes building information, violation description, and corrective action sections marked with numbers.

1. Complaint number

You can track the complaint in our Permit/Complaint Tracking System, and while you are fixing your building code violation.

The top of an NOV, showing the Complaint Number space on the top right.

2. Violation description

This section describes the violation.

Work without permit: We could not find an active permit for the work being done. You will need to file to get a permit for the work.

Additional work-permit required: Some or all of the construction is for work beyond the scope allowed by the permit. You will need to get a permit for the work being done.

Expired permit: The permit on file for work at the address has expired. You can check your permit’s expiration date on your job card. You must extend or renew the existing permit.

Cancelled permit: You applied for a permit but the application was cancelled. You will need to apply for a new permit. 

Unsafe building: The building or the construction work poses an immediate safety risk. You must fix the code violation right away.

Crop of a Notice of Violation with the "Violation Description" section emphasized.

3. Corrective action

You must follow the corrective actions and get the site inspected to resolve the violation.

Contact your assigned inspector if you have questions or to schedule an inspection. They are listed at the bottom of the notice.

Crop of a blank Notice of Violation, with the "Corrective Action" section shown. There are various checkboxes for actions that a building owner must potentially take to resolve the violation, including stopping work, filing a permit application (with or without a deadline, with or without plans), and warnings about being escalated to abatement proceedings.

4. Investigation fees

We will mark which fees you'll need to pay to reimburse the department for the cost of the investigation and enforcement.

Most of the time, you pay the fees when you are issued the permit to fix the violation. For some violations, you can pay the fee separately.

If it is a new permit application, you will still pay the original permit issuance fee. Permit issuance fees are calculated from the value and scope of the construction work that will be done.

Building permit penalties and investigation fees

The NOV penalties for building permits are calculated from the work that has already been done. It is not calculated from the total value of the work.

For work without a building permit, the penalty is nine times the issuance fee plus the original permit fee.

For work that exceeds scope of a building permit, the penalty is two times the permit issuance fees for work not covered by the original permit.

The building permit inspection fee is a line item on the permit issuance fee invoice.

Electrical and plumbing permit investigation fees

For work without an electrical or plumbing permit, the NOV fee is nine times the permit issuance fee.

For work that exceeds the scope of an electrical or plumbing permit, the NOV fee is two times the permit issuance fee.

Crop of a blank Notice of Violation, with the "Investigation fees" section shown. Various checkboxes are displayed with the options an inspector may mark.

5. Department information

The inspector listed on the NOV is assigned to your case. They will be your point of contact as you fix your code violation. If your case is moved to a Director’s Hearing, you will be assigned another inspector.

We will mark which DBI division is responsible for your case. We will also check off if other departments were notified about the Notice of Violation. 

  • DCP is SF Planning
  • EID is Electrical Inspection Division at DBI
  • PID is Plumbing Inspection Division at DBI
  • BID is Building Inspection Division at DBI
  • HIS is Housing Inspection Section at DBI
  • CED is Code Enforcement Division at DBI
  • PRS is Plan Review Section at DBI
  • DAD is Disability Access Division at DBI
  • SFFD is Fire Department
  • DPH is Department of Public Health
  • PS is Permit Services at DBI
Crop of a blank Notice of Violation, with the bottom part shown. The section includes space for an inspector to put their contact information, as well as checkboxes to mark which building inspection divisions or City departments have been notified.
Last updated November 9, 2022