It is not fun having to deal with a local government agency especially code enforcement. We would like to have our city orderly and safe. My land lady ended up getting some unneeded stress from my city’s code enforcement department. She ended up getting a complaint from their office and she tried calling their office to ask what exactly was offending the complainer that caused this situation to happen and they never really explained what was offending.
Of course no one wants to get fined or cited by code enforcement, I know cities want to get revenue from offenders since we are living in a challenging economy. However code enforcement needs to do some customer friendly policies so they can get things done and cut through the red tape.
Send digital photos to explain what exactly is causing the complaint. Is it a car parked on the lawn? Is it trash cans stored in plain eye sight? Is it a severely unkept lawn? Provide the property owner evidence. Not all property owners live where they reside. Also give a copy to the tenant early as well, so both parties can be up to speed.
Use plain language when talking to your customers or citizens of your city. If the department uses photo evidence, then the frustration of exactly describing what is on a code enforcement complaint would be eased. If the land owner asks code enforcement “what tree is causing the problem?”, code enforcement should not have to say “a tree is causing a problem, we do not know exactly what tree is causing it”. The property owner should know exactly what tree is causing the problem.
I sent a message to a city council member I know with some of my suggestions such as sending digital photos to the property owner to prevent stress and red tape in dealing with the department.
Another post will provide a good idea in reinventing government in the city of Ontario.