You have probably seen them on KSAT 12 or perhaps you have seen a few on your side of town: rundown properties that are eyesores or potential dangers to the community.
The Code Enforcement Division of the city’s Development Services Department handles code violations and complaints.
“The goal is to have a cleaner, safer city,” said Development Services Director Rod Sanchez.
Code Enforcement handles an array of problems, from working with property owners to cut overgrown grass to demolishing dangerous structures.
“Vacant lots … it can be single family homes or apartments or commercial property,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez says code enforcement officers are asked to be 50 percent proactive, meaning half of the violations they hand out should be a result of their eyes surveying the city and pinpointing problems.
The roughly other 50 percent of reports of violations come from residents.
The best way to make a complaint is by calling 311, which will automatically generate a report that can be dispatched to code enforcement officers.
If the complaint is determined to be an actual violation, a notice of the violation is posted on the property.
Typically, a property owner is given 10 days to resolve the issue.
If that time expires without a resolution, the city can fine the property owner. Code Enforcement can also choose to fix the problem and bill the owner for the maintenance.
Some problem property owners -- especially repeat offenders -- can be asked to appear before the city’s Building Standards Board, a hearing officer or a municipal court judge.
The Building Standards Board is composed of two panels of seven citizens appointed by the San Antonio City Council.
"What we've done is we've said 90 percent of the time, in 45 days, we're going to have the mess cleaned up,” said Sanchez.
You can visit this website to search whether a specific address has any code violations, what the status of that violation is and how long the property owner has to address the issue.
"They may not see the citation, they're not going to hear about the hearing with the hearing officer,” Sanchez said. “So there's a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes."
Code Enforcement often runs into the most challenging problems with absentee property owners, or owners who live outside of San Antonio.
An ordinance enacted in September 2013 now requires absentee property owners who have two or more code violations to appoint a local contact person who Code Enforcement can reach to resolve any violation.
“They’re required to register that property with us and they’re required to have a local agent here so if anything happens- any violation on their property happens in the future- we go to that local agent to have those issues resolved,” Sanchez said.
If you know of a property that is an eyesore or potential danger to your community, email the address and any pictures to NastyNeighbor@KSAT.com.