Like people, neighborhoods and structures in Palm Beach County require maintenance to stay in good
condition as they age. Inevitably, structures and neighborhoods that are not
properly maintained deteriorate. Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate
that abandoned or boarded-up buildings nearby can reduce the value of a home by
13%. Trash in a neighborhood can reduce values by 15%! Consequently, property
values fall, vandalism and crime occur more frequently and the residents of
neighborhoods become uncomfortable.
There is a simple solution to maintaining
good neighborhoods - property owner responsibility. Unfortunately, some people
are not responsible property owners. Citizens expect government to create
minimum standards for housing, yard maintenance, parking, etc., to protect them
from substandard living conditions.
This web page is provided to explain some of the standards enforced by the
Code Enforcement Division of Palm Beach County. Use the checklist below to
evaluate your property. Descriptions of the most common code violations follow.
Please review this information and take action to be a responsible property
Repair: Rotted wood, broken or missing boards, broken or
missing windows, siding or shingles and make all exterior parts weather tight,
rodent-proof and sound. Exteriors must be resistant to water and be covered with
paint, waterproof stain, siding, brick or stone that is in good condition.
- Exterior walls
- Roof structure, including rafters, soffits, fascia
- Roof covering
- Railing on stairs, elevated landings and porches
- Fences (should be in good repair and of legal height)
- Windows and screens
- Trim all hedges in front yard to a height of four feet or less and eight
feet or less in the rear or side yards.
- Overgrowth in excess of 18" is a violation of the County's Lot Clearing
- Vehicles must be in an operable condition, able to move under their own
- The keeping of unregistered or unlicensed vehicles on residential property
is prohibited. However, one vehicle may be kept on the premises which is not
currently registered or licensed, provided the vehicle is screened from view
from adjacent roadways and lots.
- County regulations do not allow the parking or storage of vehicles in excess
of one ton carrying capacity in a residential district.
- Garage Sales are permitted twice per year, each not
exceeding 72 hours.
- Home businesses must be properly licensed. No traffic, outside
display or storage may occur and the business must be clearly secondary to the
use of the property as a home. Additional zoning criteria apply. Call 233-5200
Some of the More Frequent Code Violations:
Yard Maintenance Standards
Yard maintenance is the responsibility of every property owner.
Grass height must not exceed 18", whether the property is developed or vacant.
Hedges must be maintained no greater than 4' in the front yard and 8' in the
side and rear yard areas. Garbage, trash and yard waste cannot be left in the
yard and must be properly disposed of. Residential garbage includes small
kitchen, food and household discards, and is collected twice each week. It must
be bagged or placed in a proper container and placed street-side for pick up.
Trash includes bulk waste such as furniture, mattresses and yard trimmings.
These items are collected once per week. White goods (refrigerators, stoves,
water heaters, etc.) are collected twice per week. For information regarding
collection, please call the Solid Waste Authority at 697-2700.
Garbage Can Regulations
County Ordinance 96-9 prohibits the placement of garbage cans
and other refuse containers curbside for trash pickup prior to 3:00 p.m. the day
before your regularly scheduled pickup. Additionally, the Ordinance requires
that all refuse containers be removed from the pickup area the same day
collection is made.
Inoperable/Unlicensed Motor Vehicles
An inoperable vehicle is one that cannot be driven. Open
storage of inoperable vehicles on residential property is prohibited. Any
vehicle that does not operate must be in an enclosed structure, such as a garage
or completely in a carport. Only one unlicensed vehicle may be kept on
residential property, provided it is screened from view.
Outdoor storage of equipment, materials or furnishings is
prohibited on residential property. Likewise, indoor furniture, household
appliances, auto parts or building materials may not be stored outside.
County codes do not allow the storing or parking of vehicles
which have a carrying capacity in excess of one ton in residential areas; on
side streets or private property.
Structures Erected Without Permits
In Palm Beach County, most structures and improvements to
structures require building permits. Improvements such as decks, fences, patio
slabs, concrete or asphalt driveways and sheds also require permits. Before
beginning any home improvement project, it is wise to contact the Building
Division at 233-5120 to determine whether permits are required.
Boats are required to be parked on the side of, or in the rear
of residential dwellings, and must be screened from surrounding property and
streets with an opaque wall, fence or hedge a minimum of six feet in height.