Housing Program

The Environmental Health Services Division is responsible for enforcing State Health Laws related to housing in the areas of interior and exterior maintenance, sanitation, and occupancy standards.

Providing adequate housing to tenants is a minimum requirement under State Housing Codes. The California Civil Code Sections 1941 and 1942 provide tenants with protection against unlawful evictions and other retaliatory measures such as raising rent due to repairs of a minimum requirement.

Authority to enter and conduct housing inspections is derived from the California Health & Safety Code Section 17970. In order to support the enforcement activities related to these laws, the County Board of Supervisors passed Ordinance No. 04180, and assesses an annual fee as set by County Ordinance Title 5, Chapter 5.64, §5.64.070. Link to fee schedule.

Housing Program inspects the following facilities:

  • Multi-Unit Rental Properties (4+ units)
  • Hotels/Motels
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Mobile Home Parks (within unincorporated San Mateo County)
  • Organized Camps
  • Employee Housing
  • Detention Facilities

How to File a Complaint

If you've failed to resolve an issue with your landlord and want to file a complaint regarding the above mentioned facilities along with single-family dwellings, duplexes, and triplexes, call (650) 599-1122 or use the Online Complaint Form.

If you reside within the City of San Mateo or the City of San Carlos, contact your local Code Enforcement Dept. directly for more information on registering a complaint.

  • City of San Mateo Code Enforcement: (650) 522-7150
  • City of San Carlos Code Enforcement: (650) 802-4100

Complaints concerning Housing Authority, HUD, or Section 8 should be directed to the San Mateo County Dept. of Housing at 650-802-3300.

If you'd like to file a complaint about a townhome or condominium, contact the owner, HOA, or obtain legal advice.  

What Happens After an Inspection

Once an inspection is completed, if violations are confirmed, the property owner is notified in writing, and a timeframe for compliance will be given. If additional inspections are required to attain compliance, the owner may be subject to re-inspection fees.




Description of Services


Community Information Handbook 2010

Directory of community services/organizations available to residents


City of San Mateo

If you reside within the City, contact your local Code Enforcement Department.


City of San Carlos

If you reside within the City, contact your local Code Enforcement Department.


City & County Code Enforcement Departments

Code enforcement issues

Contact your local Code Enforcement Dept

San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District

Controls mosquito and vector (rats) problems throughout San Mateo County


The Peninsula Humane Society

Responds to dead animals in the public right-of-way


Aging & Adult Services

Report suspected cases of elder and dependent adult abuse or neglect, or to request help for other issues


Child Protective Services

Accepts reports about children age 17 or under who may be in danger due to abuse, abandonment or exploitation


Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County

Provides free legal services to people with civil law problems


Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center

Mediation services for neighbor/neighbor-landlord/tenant-consumer and a variety of other issues


California Dept. of Health Services - Asbestos

Provides information about asbestos and regulates contractors who provide removal services


Bay Area Air Quality Management District

Responds to complaints about air pollution