Bookmark and Share

Residential Code Enforcement Section

Dashboard Image


The residential section inspects all residential properties including 1 and 2 family homes, condos and apartments. It enforces the Milwaukee Code of Ordinances on these properties as well as local, state and national fire codes on apartments. It responds to complaints, makes annual fire inspections on apartment buildings and provides support for neighborhood organizations. The companion section to the Residential Section is the Commercial Section which handles mostly businesses.
Dashboard Image

Complaints About a Building

The Department of Neighborhood Services takes in an average of one complaint every hour, 24 hours a day. Handling that volume requires some very specific information from the person making the complaint. See the Complaint Process for more information on how to make a complaint and what is involved. (See TIPS for Tenants below to avoid future problems.)

Power tools for building neighborhoods

The Residential Section helps neighborhoods and encourages using a number of tools that have been developed to help stabilize communities. Here are a few tips we highly recommend for making a safe, stable and affordable neighborhood.

Dashboard Image

Block Watch

Neighbors can often enhance their blocks by forming a block watch. Crime Prevention information and statistics can be used to alert neighbors to developing problems before they get out of control. Block watches breakdown barriers between neighbors and help unite people in a common cause. The Milwaukee Police Department Crime Prevention Bureau has resources on how to get started.
Dashboard Image

Neighborhood Guidelines

There are also Neighborhood Guidelines to help introduce a common set of goals and standards to help newcomers become part of the block and to keep absentee landlords informed about who else lives in the neighborhood. These have been developed and effectively used by the Sherman Park Community Association.
Dashboard Image

Neighborhood Housing Survey

One of the most effective tools for stabilizing property values is to do a Neighborhood Housing Survey. This preemptive strike sends a warning to neighbors whose property begins to show signs of deterioration. It informs owners of their need to make repairs before a formal and binding complaint is made to the Department of Neighborhood Services.
Dashboard Image

Graffiti Removal

Perhaps one of the most debilitating signs in a neighborhood is graffiti. Some may think of it as art, but that is far from the truth. Graffiti is simply a criminal act. It destroys property, kills jobs, and creates fear and instability. A special brochure has been written to help victims of graffiti. Graffiti Removal Techniques shows step-by-step how to determine the best way to remove the problem. The Milwaukee Christian center, which has a lot of experience at removing graffiti, evaluates many of the recommended materials.
Dashboard Image

Landlord Training

The award winning landlord training program operates out of DNS's downtown office. The goal is to teach landlords fundamental ways to keep illegal activity out of their property. The classes are FREE and held on a regular basis through out the year at various locations. They are held on evenings and weekends to accommodate virtually anyone's schedule.

  • Brochures
  • Class Schedule
Dashboard Image

Seasonal Heating Problems?

Here is a chart of the minimum heating requirements for every commercial occupancy. Once there, use the FIND feature of your browser to go directly to your type of building, i.e., school, office, garage.

Dashboard Image

Vacant Building Code

Effective January 1, 2010, the City’s new Vacant Building Registration (VBR) ordinance Chapter 200-33-64 of the Milwaukee Code of Ordinances (MCO) takes effect.  The new VBR ordinance requires owner(s) of residential and commercial property left vacant for 30 days or more to register the property with the Department of Neighborhood Services (DNS) and take steps toward assuring the property is secure, properly maintained and not creating a hazard for the surrounding community.

Dashboard Image

Need Help Finding Housing?

Dashboard Image

Impact Statement

Still upset about a landlord's impact on your neighborhood? File an Impact Statement!
Dashboard Image

Need Help Fixing Code Violations?

Contact Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation (NIDC) 286-5608


Last Update


Department Logo  

Contact Us

Lake Tower
4001 S. 6th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53221



Residential Enforcement Supervisor

Dave Krey


Phone: 414-286-5799
Fax: 414-286-XXXX

Quick Links

Please wait while we gather your results.