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Code Enforcement
200 E. Santa Clara St. 4th Floor
San Jose, CA 95113
Phone: (408) 535-7770

8:00am - 12:00pm
1:00pm - 5:00pm

Closed: Noon - 1:00pm

Service Request Form

Multiple Housing Program FAQs

Purpose of the Program and Fees

What is the purpose of the Residential Occupancy Permit?
Code Enforcement’s Multiple Housing Program and Fire Department Inspections are funded by the Residential Occupancy Permit. Inspections are conducted to ensure buildings are maintained in safe, decent, and sanitary conditions.

What kinds of buildings are required to obtain a Residential Occupancy Permit?
Apartments, hotels, motels, fraternities, sororities, emergency shelters, residential care facilities with seven or more persons, and residential service facilities are required to have an active Residential Occupancy Permit.

Can I receive an exemption from this permit?
No, San José Municipal Code 17.20.520 requires the annual renewal of the Residential Occupancy Permit to legally maintain or occupy a residential unit covered under the ordinance.


Fee Description 2019-20 Amount Applicability
Housing Fee Per Unit by Tier Tier 1 $ 32.50
Tier 2 $ 61.75
Tier 3 $ 134.75
Required for all buildings on the Multiple Housing Roster.
Rent Controlled Units $ 85.04 Fee charged as authorized by Housing Department.
Non-Rent Controlled Units $ 8.76 Fee charged as authorized by Housing Department.
Transfer Fee Per Permit $ 44.00 Transfer fee is applied when the Santa Clara County Assessor’s Office notifies Code Enforcement about an owner name change.
Reinspection Fee $ 223.00 Charged for each reinspection after the first one if violations are not corrected by the due date.
Reinstatement Fee $ 1,051.00 Charged to reinstate permit after revocation pursuant to San José Municipal Code 17.20.640.

Annual Invoice

When can I expect to receive the annual invoice?
Invoices are mailed in early November and payment is due by December.

Is the Residential Occupancy Permit transferable to a new property owner?
Yes, the permit remains in effect for the calendar year. A transfer fee is automatically sent to the new property owner after the information is received from the Santa Clara County Assessor’s Office.

How do I request that Code Enforcement use an alternate mailing address?
Please email  Include the contact name, preferred mailing address, telephone number, and Residential Occupancy Permit numbers.

If I have multiple buildings or locations, do I need separate permits?
Yes, a Residential Occupancy Permit is required for each building with three or more units. The reason each building is permitted separately is because large complexes may be built in stages. A separate invoice is mailed for each required permit.

3-Tier Service Delivery Model

What is the service level for each tier?

Tier Service Level Tier Assessment Criteria
Tier 1:

6-Year Cycle with Mandatory Annual Self-Certifications
Complaint response and audit 10% of self-certified units on a 6-year cycle In order to maintain this status, repairs identified by the owner/manager must be completed in a timely manner prior to the audit. Uncorrected violations or substantiated complaints involving health and safety could result in reassignment to Tier 2.
Tier 2:

5-Year Cycle
Complaint response and proactive inspection of 25% of units. Average less than 1 minor violation per unit inspected and repairs completed by due date to move into Tier 1. Less than 2 minor violations per unit and repairs completed by due date to maintain this status. Uncorrected violations or substantiated complaints may result in reassignment to Tier 3.
Tier 3:

3-Year Cycle
Complaint response and proactive inspection of 50% of units. Less than 2 minor violations per unit, repairs completed by due date and no substantiated complaints to move to Tier 2. Movement from Tier 3 to Tier 1 would be by approval of the Program Manager in extraordinary circumstances on a case by case basis.

What kinds of violations are not considered minor?
Lack of a finaled permit is not a minor violation and neither are exterior projects that require prior Planning approval. Before making any exterior change to a multi-family building, contact the Planning Division. Owners can use to search permit, property and zoning information. Change of ownership does not make unpermitted work legal. A permit must be issued prior to beginning work and final inspection approval is required. The City of San Jose has required permits for building construction and improvements since 1928. Construction work done without the required permits violates the State Building Code and is considered illegal constructed work. Any time you change the structural, electrical, plumbing, or mechanical configurations of any part of a building, you need a permit and inspection. Certain installations, such as a water heater, also require a permit. Building has a list of projects that do not require a permit. There is a process for extending or refiling an expired permit and legalizing unpermitted work.

How can I find out the Tier Assignment for my buildings?
The Multiple Housing roster includes the service level tier assignment.

Can my building move to a higher or lower tier?
Once a building has completed the cycle time, an automatic review of the case history for each building will be initiated. If the building meets the standards specified in the table above, then the building will be moved up one tier; from T3 to T2, or T2 to T1.

When are tier reviews conducted?
An automatic review will occur at the end of each tier cycle. No action is needed to initiate review. If the building meets the standards specified in the table above, the building will be reassigned from T3 to T2, or T2 to T1. Additionally, owners or managers may request a tier change for a remodel of the building with finaled permits.

What type of information do I need to provide about my building remodel?
Please email the scope of work, invoices, and finaled permit numbers. In order to qualify for early tier movement, the remodel must be more than routine maintenance. The scope must be substantial. For example, window change outs are not sufficient. However, window change outs as part of a building remodel can qualify. Before and after photos of the building are helpful for the assessment. Remodel of a few units may not qualify unless it is part of a larger upgrade of the building. Email the information with a request for tier review based upon extraordinary circumstances to

Tier 1

What are the responsibilities of owners with buildings in Tier 1?
An affidavit must be completed online. The owner or owner’s agent must agree to inspect every unit in the building on an annual basis and upon change in tenancy, provide a copy of the inspection form to tenants within five working days of the inspection, and maintain electronic or hard copies of the records for seven years. The self-certification inspection may be conducted using a model form provided by Code Enforcement or a customized form prepared by the owner or property manager.  However, the Self-Certification Inspection Form must include all the items from the City’s model form which is available online. The owner or agent must also notify Code Enforcement if any unit cannot be self-certified and the notification must occur no later than July 31st of each year.

Can an owner or the owner’s agent opt out of Tier 1?
Yes, the online certification includes an option to opt out of Tier 1 and reassignment to Tier 2. If an owner/owner’s agent does not complete the Self-Certification Affidavit by December 31st, then the building will automatically be reassigned to Tier 2 in January. A new invoice at the higher rate will be mailed to the owner or alternate mailing address.

What is the model form and can anyone use it?
The Self-Certification Checklist provides a list of the most common substandard housing conditions identified by Code Enforcement. The model form is available on the Code Enforcement website and a hardcopy or pdf version can be requested by emailing

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