Submitting a Complaint

Seneca County Department of Building and Fire Code Enforcement is authorized only to enforce the New York State Uniform Building and Fire Code, the New York Energy Conservation and Construction Code, and the general laws as it applies to County Jurisdiction.  We have no authority over local Zoning or Land Use Ordinances, over State Laws, or Federal Laws.  This office deals with issues that relate to the safety of persons who use and occupy buildings, as well as the safety of first responders who respond to fires and other emergencies in buildings. When a possible code violation is called to this office’s attention, the code enforcement official  will investigate and, as warranted, order the responsible party to correct the violation.

 

Note that Seneca County’s jurisdiction is to enforce the Uniform Code, not to ascertain or fix liability for the cost of the required remedy.  In addition, landlords must be given an opportunity to correct an alleged violation, and tenants should contact their landlords before contacting Code Enforcement.  

 

FILING A COMPLAINT.

  1. Download and print the Alleged Property Violation Form
  2. Complete the form, Sign and Date it, and submit it by fax, mail, or in person to the Seneca County Code Enforcement Office to the left.   Complaints reported WITHOUT a signed Alleged Property Violation Form will NOT be investigated.
  3. Once Seneca County Code Enforcement  has received the Complaint, it will be evaluated by a Building Inspector. 
  4. The Building Inspector will notify you in writing the results of the initial investigation and the results of any Enforcement Action taken.
  5. Please allow up to 30 days for processing and investigation of the complaint.  Resolution of the alleged violation may take considerably longer, depending upon the details of the case.

 

JURISDICTION.   Please note that in most cases Seneca County Code Enforcement is required to provide the responsible party with an opportunity to voluntarily comply with the Uniform Code and Energy Code before legal action is pursued.  Please also note that Seneca County’s authority to investigate allegations is limited to accordance with the applicable minimum standards as set out by the Uniform Code and Energy Code.  It does not include the authority to investigate matters arising under other laws, statutes and regulations relating to the construction or use of buildings and premises. For example, Seneca County Code Enforcement is not authorized to investigate all allegations involving:

  • land use, planning or zoning issues;
  • existing building encroachments over property lines;
  • environmental contamination, including activities which may be regulated by the Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC), the Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) or other agencies;
  • contractual disputes, including those involving tenancies, leases and contracts for purchase or sale of real property;
  • contractual disputes involving design professionals, contractors, subcontractors and other parties providing construction related services; drainage diversion; and noise

 

Seneca County has no authority to address issues that have their origin prior to January 1, 1984, as the Uniform Code only came into effect on that date. However, buildings that pre-existed the Uniform Code are subject to maintenance provisions of the Fire Code and the Property Maintenance Code.   Also, alterations to buildings which were constructed prior to January 1, 1984 are subject to the Existing Buildings Code or Appendix J of the Residential Code. Conduct relating to such buildings may be investigated by the Division.