HOUSING CODE INSPECTOR III
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is advanced level investigation/inspection work of single, multi-family, rental, and commercial dwellings and establishments to assist the public and ensure compliance with housing codes and other applicable laws, regulations and Executive Orders. Contacts include employees in other County departments including Assistant County Attorneys, managers and organizations; the public; landlords; owners; homeowners; and other professionals. Contacts are made to coordinate case-management and operational matters; exchange information; provide consumer education; make referrals; seek cooperation from impacted parties (e.g., complainants and respondents); take or recommend action; mediate (formally and informally); testify in court and prepare for testimony; and obtain and distribute information necessary to provide a wide variety of services. Employees in this class have an ongoing duty to inform, educate, and help (or sanction) the client base (i.e., property owners, renters, merchants, homeowners associations, and other parties). The duration of assistance to the public may range from a brief, concise answer, to a lengthy involved series of verbal and written communications to determine the exact nature of the cause of Code violations; to establish the appropriate remedy; and conduct appropriate follow-up to ensure permanent relief of the initial problems/issues.
Incumbents assist clients in meeting the intent of various codes, and may grant
exceptions based upon their expertise and judgment. Incumbents in this class
work with clients to resolve interpretive problems; and facilitate casework
Employees are responsible for fully researching and reconciling complaints,
which involve analysis of facts and application of a wide variety of County
laws, regulations, and other requirements that govern not only housing code
issues but also related subjects such as fire, zoning, and social matters. Work
is typically performed under the general supervision of an administrative superior
and is reviewed upon completion for effectiveness in meeting the needs and goals
of the Unit, Division, and Department. Assignments include unusual, nonstandard
cases requiring the application of judgment, ingenuity, and evaluative thinking
to identify root causes of problems, select and apply a variety of technical
methods, standards and codes, analyze overall conditions, and determine the
most appropriate resolution in light of legal, technical and other mitigating
factors. Guidelines consist of Federal, State and County housing codes and regulations
and departmental policies and procedures, some of which are not always completely
applicable to the work.
The complexity of the work of this class derives from the need to analyze issues that arise in each assignment and, if necessary, select an alternative which will resolve the issues/problems encountered in a context of a very high expectation of personalized customer service. The work requires the application of a considerable depth of knowledge and skill to resolve problems/issues which very often do not fit standard protocols, standards, or expectations. Fluctuating workloads, shifting priorities, and emotionally charged client interactions compound this complexity. Inspectors in this class enhance the entire community, residential and commercial, through enforcement/investigative efforts, directly contributing to making the County a more environmentally safe, healthy, attractive place for businesses to expand and/or relocate. They directly contribute to a higher standard of living for residents and businesses, and directly contribute to increasing the tax base. Much of the work is performed outdoors in all weather conditions and involves regular exposure to cold, heat, rain, and/or heat. Employees conduct inspections and/or investigations occasionally late at night and/or during early morning hours. While conducting inspections and/or investigations, and while performing mediation and dispute settlement duties, employees may encounter hostility and/or aggressive behavior. The majority of out of office work requires long periods of walking and standing, climbing stairs, climbing ladders, working in cramped spaces, and occasionally lifting objects weighing from 20 to 50 pounds.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Plans, performs, and documents the full range of complex Code Enforcement Unit inspections/investigations for single, multi-family, rental, and commercial dwellings and establishments to include: hoarding and overcrowding complaints/investigations and follow-up; source and quality of water supply; general maintenance of grounds; construction and maintenance of garages and accessory structures; driveways; fences; walls; sidewalks; exterior stairs; roofs; chimneys; foundations; exterior walls; gutters; downspouts; porches; decks; and exterior electrical wiring; plumbing; general maintenance of interior walls; ceilings and flooring; safety and quality of interior electrical system wiring and plumbing; rodent and insect infestation; location, construction, and maintenance of doors and windows, and presence of screen and smoke detectors; size and adequacy of sleeping and living space based on the number of residents; protection/life safety; zoning/land use; and storm water management.
Determines causes of noncompliance with governing Federal, State, and County ordinances, regulations, and requirements. Identifies issues involved, the need for additional information, and if necessary, obtains needed additional information. Determines appropriate action based on a thorough analysis of all factors related to the initial complaint, and follows through to completion (i.e., close-out) of the case.
Initiates and leads efforts to identify causes and alleviate conditions of community and neighborhood deterioration in assigned areas by conferring with property owners, tenants, civic and housing associations, other department and agency entities, and private service deliverers. Leads discussions and efforts to develop strategies that will improve the overall living conditions/standards, property value, and appearance of communities and neighborhoods (e.g., arranging for same-day common trash pick-up for all businesses in the community; spearheading community-wide rodent eradication; leading street clean-up efforts by coordinating and interfacing with residents and business owners; other governmental and agency offices; and private service deliverers).
As requested and/or as necessary, meets with housing association representatives, tenants, business owners, and other department and agency officials to resolve difficult code/law enforcement interpretation problems. Provides technical and practical information in the geographic area assigned to the public (e.g., during civic and/or housing association meetings).
Conducts formal and informal mediation/negotiation discussions between contesting parties (e.g., landlords and tenants; business owners and other County agency representatives) in an effort to achieve resolution of issues prior to formal hearing and/or court proceedings.
At regular and recurring intervals, serves as Housing Code Unit resource representative by manning the complaint desk telephone. Answers callers' questions and complaints as fully as possible, rather than referring callers to other Department of Housing and Community Affairs offices and other departments. When unable to fully answer callers' questions initially, conducts informal investigations by conferring with respective subject matter experts and transmitting the gathered information to the initial caller.
Based on a careful analysis of all factors related to the respective inspection/investigation conducted, prepares all appropriate documentation; e.g., reports and correspondence. On own initiative, confers with any and all government and/or private industry offices. Signs documentation as appropriate, and prepares other documentation for signature of higher level management.
In conjunction with Assistant County Attorneys, prepares case documentation for enforcement action. Consults with attorneys and other department and agency personnel (e.g., landlord-tenant officials) to obtain all necessary case-related information and develop the appropriate documentation necessary for hearings and court proceedings. Testifies at hearings and in court as citation issuing officer and expert witness.
Participates in interagency and intergovernmental task forces and groups to resolve systemic, over-arching problems (e.g., hoarding, overcrowding). Gathers accurate, first-hand information on individual cases. Confers with a wide variety of government and private professionals to develop resolutions and/or action plans based on the specifics of individual cases.
Experience: Four (4) years of relevant and progressively responsible
experience in code and/or law enforcement work, two (2) years of which must
be in the field of housing inspection/investigation and code compliance/enforcement
Education: Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Bachelor's degree in an appropriate engineering, technical, or professional field.
Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Considerable knowledge of the laws, codes, regulations and policies applicable
to the full range of housing and related inspection/investigation work (e.g.,
residential/commercial construction, zoning/land use, right-of-way construction,
storm water management/sediment control).
Considerable knowledge of inspection/investigation and enforcement methods and techniques.
Ability to interpret and explain the laws, codes, regulations and policies applicable to assigned work.
Ability to attend meetings and perform assignments at locations outside the office. Ability to communicate effectively in both oral and written format.
Skill in using applicable automated record-keeping and reporting systems.
Skill in conducting formal and informal mediation activities.
Ability to plan strategies to counter neighborhood deterioration.
General knowledge of construction methods and materials; storm water management methods and techniques.
Prior to assignment into this class, must be certified through the International
Code Council (ICC) Certification Program in:
" International Property Maintenance and Housing Certification.
Certification must be renewed every three years.
Individuals appointed or promoted to this class will be required to serve a probationary period of six months, during which time performance will be carefully evaluated. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
Possession of a valid motor vehicle operator's license.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Core Exam to include an Alcohol/Drug Screen.
Class Established: January 2008