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File or respond to a complaint with Code Enforcement

The Code Enforcement Section investigates complaints regarding violations of King County Codes (KCC) related to zoning, building, property maintenance, shorelines and critical areas in unincorporated King County as outlined in KCC Title 23.

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Response times

We prioritize and investigate cases based on potential harm to public health and safety or the environment. We can only investigate non-priority cases as time allows.

How to file a code enforcement complaint

  • Confirm jurisdiction

    The property must be in unincorporated King County.

    If unsure, check jurisdiction and zoning. If it's outside unincorporated King County jurisdiction, please contact the city or town directly about their code enforcement process. 

  • Identify the violation

    See below for a list of eligible violations

    • Accumulation of junk and debris
    • Clearing or grading without permits
    • Construction without a permit
    • Dangerous or open-to-entry buildings
    • Illegally placed mobile homes or factory-assembled structures
    • Illegal use of fireworks 
    • Irresponsible or hazardous development
    • Livestock infractions
    • Open wells and other hazardous conditions
    • Operation of an illegal business
    • Substandard housing
    • Storage of junk cars
    • Zoning code infractions

    We do not enforce property line disputes, hazardous trees on adjacent properties, or tenant-landlord disputes.

    Looking for a different violation type? Please see other violation types on this page.

  • Submit the complaint

    Provide specific, accurate, and complete information in addition to your name and phone number. Include the address or parcel number of the property in violation, name of the property owner, name of the tenant if the property is leased, and description of the violation.

    Your name and phone number are not required. If you wish to remain confidential, you must state that in your complaint.

    See instructions on how to file a complaint online below

  • What to expect

    The complaint process

    All complaints are processed in the order that they are received. However, complaints are prioritized right away according to their impact on the environment and public safety. The most significant impacts may be investigated first. So, please provide specific and complete details because information received may affect the time it takes to investigate a complaint.

    Upon receipt of a complaint, Code Enforcement will gather basic property information and assign a case number to the complaint. Complaints are then routed to a specific Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) for investigation. Initial contact with a suspected violator generally occurs within 30 days of receiving a complaint, although environmental hazards and other high priority cases are investigated as quickly as possible, usually within 24 hours.

    Some violations are quick to resolve, while others take more time due to their complexity. Code Enforcement officers work with property owners in an attempt to educate them about the specific code requirements which apply to their property.

    If the property owner is willing to work with the officer, then both parties agree to a compliance schedule. If the violator is a repeat offender or is unwilling to bring the property into compliance, the officer will issue an order which typically includes civil penalties and the possibility of a lien on the property. The order may be appealed to the Hearing Examiner and scheduled for a public hearing. In some extreme cases, the Code Enforcement office may have to refer the case to the King County Prosecutor's Office for further enforcement action and/or abatement.

    Please see the Tools and Resources section for additional information.

    Search a case number

How to file a complaint online

Please note

Complaints which are considered a duplication (for example: same property, same issue) will be marked as "void" in our system. To confirm if the complaint you wish to submit has previously been submitted, please search for the property in our system. If you believe you have new or different information on an existing violation, please contact the Code Enforcement Officer assigned to the existing violation. 

  • File the complaint online

    Visit King County's Online Permitting System. You need to click on the Enforcement link below the search bar on the system's homepage.

    file a complaint agree to terms

    • Under Enforcement, select File a complaint.
    • When you have read and accepted the terms, check the box and select Continue.

    file a complaint online through aca step 2

    • Select Add New to enter your contact information.
      Your contact information is not required. To submit an anonymous complaint, leave the contact information fields blank.
    • Select Continue to verify any contact information you have entered.
  • Enter location information

    You will need an address or parcel number in order to submit a complaint. If you do not have one you can use King County's iMap or Parcel Viewer to identify the lot you wish to file a complaint on.

    • Enter the 10-digit parcel number or street address and select Search
    • Choose the correct address and select Continue.
  • Enter complaint details

    • Type your complaint in the Detailed Description box and select Continue
    • Select Yes or No to the first 3 questions under General:
      • Do you wish to be Anonymous?Yes means no name or contact information has been given.
      • Do you wish to be Confidential?Yes means your name and contact information will not be shared.
      • Do you want to be notified about the case as it progresses?
        • If you select Yes and you entered your email address on the complainant page in Step 1, updates will be sent to the e-mail address you provided.
        • If you select No or if you want to check progress on the case at any time, you can search for the case online using the case number you will receive at the end of this process.
      • You will have the option of answering additional yes/no questions related to the property.
      • Select Continue.
  • Include any attachments

    If you would like to include any pictures or documents with your complaint, select Add File Upload. Once your file has uploaded, select Add to repeat the process.

    • Select Continue when you have finished uploading additional files. Add a description of the files and select Save.
    • Select Continue.
  • Review

    • Review the information you have entered. If you wish to make any changes, select Edit, which will take you back to the page with that information. You can then make any changes and select Continue when done to return to this page.
    • Select Continue to submit your code enforcement complaint.
  • Submit

    Be sure to make a note of the record number associated with your complaint. You should use this number when inquiring about this complaint or going online to check the progress of the case.

Respond to a code enforcement violation or case

If you have been contacted by King County Code Enforcement regarding a code violation, please see these resources on next steps.

  • Introduction to Code Enforcement
  • Working with Code Enforcement
  • How to comply with King County Code
  • Code Enforcement Application for Fee Waiver or Adjustment
  • Dispute Resolution
  • For ABC (Already Built Construction) forms or information regarding your Pre-Application Meeting for your code enforcement case, please contact Code Enforcement at 206-296-6680.