Code Enforcement

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Code Enforcement

What is Code Enforcement?

Code Enforcement is a division of the Community Development Department.  It is the goal of the Code Enforcement Division to maintain and improve the quality of life through education and communication within residential, commercial and industrial areas of our City.

Code Enforcement Officers work both in the field and in the office.  In the field they respond to complaints, conduct on site inspections, determine when a violation of the City’s Municipal Code exists and work with property owners to achieve voluntary compliance.  In the office, Officers research the municipal code; as well as zoning, environmental, building and land use regulations to determine compliance.  Officers respond to all questions and concerns, and protect the privacy rights of complainants and violators within the limits of the law.

To accomplish Code Enforcement’s goal, the City has adopted the standards set forth in the Uniform Housing Code and has been diligently working on new City Ordinances.  As we partner with residents, property owners and businesses within our City; we are looking to increase public awareness of our City’s Ordinances and Municipal Codes and to seek voluntary compliance when violations are identified.  In situations where violations continue unabated, a fair and unbiased compliance process that includes fines, civil and criminal prosecution to bring blighted areas into compliance exists. 

Complaints that are not handled by Code Enforcement are listed below:

  • Animal related complaints (Inland Valley Humane Society – Animal Control)
  • Bee Hives or Bee Infestations on Public Property (Public Works Department)
  • Criminal Activity (Police Department)
  • Drug Related Activities (Police Department)
  • After Hours Noise Complaints, Fireworks (Police Department)
  • Street Lights (Public Works Department)
  • Graffiti in Public Areas (Public Works Department)
  • Homeless Encampments and Activities (Police Department)
  • Home Owners Association (HOA) CC&R’s (Handled by Local HOA)
  • Location of Property Lines (Civil Dispute)
  • Tree roots causing damage to private property fence or structure (Civil Dispute)
  • Trees on Electrical Power Lines (Southern California Edison (SCE)
  • Branches Overhanging onto Private Property (Civil Dispute)

If you have any questions please contact the Code Enforcement Division by calling(626) 384-5470.  Please be advised that Code Enforcement Officers are out in the field for most of the day.  Please leave a detailed message when you call so that an Officer can respond to your complaint or inquiry. 

Supporting Documents

Administrative Citation Process

Code Enforcement Administrative Citation Summary

To improve the quality of life for Covina residents and business owners by reducing the number of code violations through the encouragement of expedient compliance; and, to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the general public by minimizing potentially harmful municipal code violations the City of Covina has adopted Ordinance 04-1900:  Community Improvement and Administrative Citations.

Courtesy Notice: Is the initial notification of violations and the process is as follows:The Enforcement Officer discovers a Municipal Code violation(s) either by responding to a complaint or being witness to the violation(s) and may proceed with a Courtesy Notice as follows:
Notification shall indicate the violation(s).

Notification shall indicate what needs to be done to remedy the violation(s).

Notification shall indicate the date the violation(s) needs to be voluntarily complied by.
Enforcement Officer provides the date the violation(s) need to voluntarily comply by.
Voluntary compliance is between 3 and 30 days.

The number of days to voluntarily comply is determined by the severity of the violation(s).

The number of days to voluntarily comply is determined by the Enforcement Officer’s reasonable judgment. 


Personally delivered to the Responsible Party, or Sent by first-class mail to the Responsible Party or Posted on the property.  No extensions are granted for Courtesy Notices. 

First Administrative Citation:

Is issued if the violation is not abated by the date set forth in the Courtesy Notice; or if the violation was abated by the date set forth in the Courtesy Notice, but a second violation of the same ordinance is committed within a twelve (12) month period commencing with the date of the Courtesy Notice.First fine: $50.00 and violations must be abated within ten (10) calendar days from the date of the first administrative citation and shall clearly indicate “SECOND ATTEMPT TO OBTAIN COMPLIANCE,” and notification to the party that should the violation not be abated an additional fine will apply in the amount of $150.00If violation is abated, then $50.00 fine is waived.Extensions of Time to Abate (1.26.080)All requests for extensions must be in writing and due to a hardship.  Only a one-time extension, up to thirty (30) days, may be granted.  The Community Development Director or his/her designee may grant, under their discretion, an extension to abate the violation.  If the case has been referred to a Hearing Officer, extensions may not be granted.  Any previous fine will be reinstated and must be paid prior to an extension being granted. 

Second Administrative Citation:

The same process applies as in the First Administrative Citation; however, the following changes apply.The first fine shall be reinstated and paid.  Second fine is $150.00The Second Administrative Citation shall clearly indicate “THIRD ATTEMPT TO OBTAIN COMPLIANCE.”  Notification to the party that should the violation not be abated an additional fine will apply in the amount of $500.00. 

Third Administrative Citation:

The same process applies as in the First Administrative Citation; however, the following changes apply.The second fine shall be reinstated and paid.Third fine is $500.00.  The Third Administrative Citation shall clearly indicate: “FOURTH ATTEMPT TO OBTAIN COMPLIANCE – FAILURE TO COMPLY MAY RESULT IN FURTHER FINES OR PUBLIC NUISANCE PROCEEDINGS AND OTHER ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS – ALL COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH PUBLIC NUISANCE PROCEEDINGS MAY BE LIENED AGAINST THE SUBJECT PROPERTY IF NOT PAID BY THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY.” 

Fourth and Subsequent Administrative Citations:

The City may either pursue Public Nuisance Proceedings and other actions available at law or equity, or the City may issue a Fourth Administrative Citation.  The third fine shall be reinstated and paid.  Fourth fine is $500.00.The Fourth Administrative Citation shall clearly indicate: “FIFTH ATTEMPT TO OBTAIN COMPLIANCE – FAILURE TO COMPLY MAY RESULT IN FURTHER FINES OR IN PUBLIC NUISANCE PROCEEDINGS AND OTHER ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS – ALL COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH PUBLIC NUISANCE PROCEEDINGS MAY BE LIENED AGAINST THE SUBJECT PROPERTY IF NOT PAID BY THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY.” 

Fifth and Subsequent Administrative Citations:

Fifth and each Subsequent Administrative Citation shall be in the amount of $500.00 per citation and shall be cumulative. 

Application for Exemption - Rental Property Registration

Supporting Documents

Citation Processing

Admin Cite – 

FAQ for website –

If you cannot locate your citation on the website and need additional information or are experiencing difficulties accessing the website, please call Citation Processing Center’s Customer Service at (800)989-2058. 


I've made my complaint, how long do I have to wait before I see something being done?

After your complaint has been received, the average time to investigate is one (1) to three (3) working days for a Code Enforcement Officer to visit, document and determine if a violation exists. We respond to each complaint as soon as it is filed as each and every complaint is important to us. Complaints are prioritized according to potential health and safety hazard.Once a complaint is investigated and verified, the property owner is notified and a process begins to abate the violations.  The process of abatement may last days, weeks or months; depending on the severity of the violations, the circumstances surrounding the property, and the due process and property rights that are guaranteed to all citizens.  It may appear to an outside observer that no action is occurring or that action does not occur on a timeline that satisfies the complainant, however it should be considered that the due process rights and property rights of all citizens are respected and that voluntary compliance is a process that resembles a partnership between the City and property owners - it is not a process to penalize violators or to retaliate against difficult neighbors. 

Do I have to give you my name and telephone numbers?

No, but it helps in the event that we need to contact you to clarify an address or ask you a question pertaining to the complaint you have filed. It also allows us to notify you in the event that the property violation is already active in our database or if the complaint is out of our jurisdiction and to be referred to another department. If you do choose to leave your name and telephone number, it is kept confidential and can only be released through a court subpoena. 

How do I report a violation?

There are several ways to report a violation.

  • Call the Code Enforcement Section at (626) 384-5470 and leave a message for an Officer to return your call when they have returned from their daily field operations.  If you wish to remain anonymous, please leave a detailed message that includes the address of the property in question.
  • Or, visit City Hall and submit a written complaint with the staff at the Building and Planning counter.
  • Or, Email your complaint to [email protected] or [email protected]

How much time do I have to clear the violation?

In most cases you are given 30 days to either abate the violation or apply for permits to abate the violation; however, the time frame is at the Code Enforcement Officer's discretion depending on the severity of the violation.  Violations that endanger health and safety are placed in a special category that require immediate action. 

How much will the permits cost to clear the violations?

Permit fees vary depending on the complexity of the project. Staff at the Permit Counter will assist you in determining your cost. 

My neighbors have violations, too. Why aren't you investigating them?

All complaints are investigated. If you believe that there is a code violation on another property, you may contact Code Enforcement staff and provide this information. The complaint will be investigated appropriately. If a violation is found to exist, the owner will be contacted and required to remove the violation and/or obtain the necessary permits for the violation.  It will not be apparent to an outside observer what actions occur regarding a violation, and Code Enforcement Officers only respond to complaints.  The Code Enforcement process is not proactive, in other words, Officers do not go looking for violations in neighborhoods.  The Code Enforcement process is intended to be reactive, in other words, we respond to complaints that are reported.  It is not the intent of the City Council that Officers should blanket neighborhoods with violations in a proactive manner.  The Officers are dedicated to responding to complaints from citizens, and will only react when a violation is brought to their attention by a citizen.  

What do I do if I receive a "Notice of Violation" or a "Stop work Notice"?

Each circumstance is different and therefore there is no one answer that will apply to every situation; however, Code Enforcement staff is available and willing to discuss any notification which you may have received. 

What do I need to do to clear the violation?

If no permit is required, simply cease the illegal activity and call the assigned Code Enforcement Officer to schedule an inspection. If a permit is required you must obtain a permit through the appropriate Department. The permit must be approved; all permit and Code Enforcement fees must be paid; the permit must be issued; and, a final inspection must be scheduled to sign off the permit before the violation is cleared.  Most violations are simple matters and are cleared quickly after a single telephone conversation with a Code Enforcement Officer.  The Officer will detail what actions need to be taken to clear the violation, and will work with citizens to set up abatement schedules that are reasonable and appropriate. 

What type of complaints are considered property maintenance issues?

Property maintenance complaints may include but are not limited to:

  • Building partially destroyed or left partially constructed.
  • Open entryway (doors, windows, etc.) of a vacant structure not closed and maintained securely.
  • Overgrown, dead, or decayed weeds and vegetation.
  • Any exterior, wall, fence, driveway, sidewalk, etc., left in a state that would be unsafe or that is not in line with neighborhood standards.
  • Attractive nuisance to children (i.e. pool, machinery or equipment).
  • Construction equipment/machinery parked in public view.
  • Lumber, junk, trash and debris visible from public right-of-way.
  • Any motor vehicle or other mobile equipment parked on an unpaved surface in front or side yard. 

Who turned me in?

We receive complaints from a number of sources including internal referrals, outside agencies and the general public. Complaint information is confidential and can only be revealed through a court subpoena 

Rental Inspection Ordinance

In December of 2012 the Covina City Council approved a Rental Housing Inspection Ordinance in order to help the City proactively regulate the health, safety and welfare of non-owner occupied rental properties.  City staff projects that initial inspections of all properties will be completed by February 2014.  In November of 2012 a second notice was sent to all properties that did not respond to the first mailing of June 2012, properties that do not respond will receive a third notice and a first administrative citation in January of 2014, with administrative citations following every 30 days until program compliance is achieved. 

Supporting Documents

Report Abandoned Property

Poor maintenance of residential properties has a negative affect on property values and quality of life. Residents are encouraged to report the addresses of suspected vacant and/or abandoned properties by calling (626) 384-5470 or e-mail to [email protected]

Report a Property Maintenance Issue

Members of the community are asked to help report property maintenance issues that may affect the health, safety, and aesthetics of Covina. These reports are confidential.

Before making a report, please ascertain the address of the property. Property with street addresses above 2999 are not within the City of Covina’s jurisdiction. These are located in unincorporated areas ofLos Angeles County.

When reporting a problem, please provide as much information as possible.

Email Code Enforcement at [email protected] to report a problem. 

Shopping Cart Retrieval



Currently shopping and laundry carts are being removed from stores and are being discarded on public right-of-ways and private property. Not only are abandoned carts unsightly to our community, they pose a safety hazard when blocking pedestrian or emergency vehicle access. In maintaining the harmony and aesthetic continuity for the residents within the City of Covina, the City has adopted a Shopping Cart Containment and Retrieval by Owners ordinance. The purpose of the ordinance is to set forth regulations where owners and operators of businesses are responsible for the care and control of their shopping carts through a Cart Containment Plan or a Cart Retrieval Plan. Retailers who provide six (6) or more shopping carts for their patrons use are required to participate in either a Cart Containment Plan or Cart Retrieval Plan.

Retrieval of abandoned shopping carts is the responsibility of the merchant.  The City of Covina does not retrieve shopping carts. Most merchants subscribe to a service. 

To report an abandoned shopping cart, please call Public Works at 626-384-5220.