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Housing Program



Property Owners and Managers – Prevent Housing Violations

IMPORTANT: Environmental Health Services is transitioning to an online portal in 2024 to streamline the process of managing permits and billing. If you did not already respond to the postcard mailer or email that went out in November and December, please review the email (click here) for further instructions. It is critical that we collect contact information to designate someone as a primary user who will be responsible for managing your business’ online account.

Multi-family dwellings are inspected periodically for health and safety violations by Environmental Health Services (EHS). If you own or manage a multi-family dwelling in San Mateo County, use the information below to ensure your property is safe, healthy, and ready for inspection. To avoid violations, correct any potential issues before your inspection.

Address common housing violations before your next inspection.


For additional information on the Housing Inspection Program please review the Housing Inspection Program Packet.

Sign up to receive important housing program email and/or text notifications

Housing Application

Housing Fee Exemption Request

Housing Inspection FYI Flyer

Home Sewage Spill Cleanup

Renters – How to File a Complaint

To file a complaint about:

  • Leaking roofs
  • Faulty plumbing
  • Inadequate heating
  • Substandard electrical problems
  • Pests (including rodents and cockroaches)
  • Mold
  • Lead

In these places:


Call (650) 599-1112 or use the Online Complaint Form. Environmental Health Services can only respond to complaints made about rental properties (apartment buildings of 4 units or more), hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, mobile home parks (within unincorporated San Mateo County), detention facilities, and organized camps. 

For employee housing/farm worker complaints, call (650) 363-4404 or use the Online Complaint Form. For additional questions, contact

If you reside within the City of San Mateo or the City of San Carlos, contact your local Code Enforcement Department directly for more information on registering a complaint.

  • City of San Mateo Code Enforcement: (650) 522-7150
  • City of San Carlos Code Enforcement: (650) 802-4100

Complaints concerning asbestos should be reported to Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD). You can file a complaint by calling 1-800-334-6367 or online by clicking here

Complaints concerning Housing Authority, HUD, or Section 8 should be directed to the San Mateo County Department of Housing at 650-802-3300.

If you’d like to file a complaint about a townhome or condominium, contact the owner, HOA, or obtain legal advice.

Employee Housing Operations

Program Overview

The Employee Housing Act and the adopted regulations govern the standards for the construction, maintenance, use, and occupancy of living quarters, called “employee housing,” provided for five or more employees under specified circumstances. Employee housing subject to the Act is privately-operated and does not include government-owned and -operated migrant worker facilities.

In general, employee housing is privately-owned housing that houses five or more employees and meets the following criteria:

  • Living quarters are provided in connection with any work, whether or not rent is involved.
  • Housing is located in a rural area that is:
    • Provided by someone who is not an agricultural employer, and
    • Provided for agricultural workers employed by any agricultural employer.

Employee Housing Permit Application

Employee Housing Permit Application


The inspection responsibilities of San Mateo County include the following activities:

Inspecting employee housing: Inspections are completed prior to and during occupancy to assure compliance with the use, maintenance, and occupancy requirements established by the laws and regulations, as well as applicable sections of Title 24, California Building Standards Code.

Investigation of complaints of violations of the Employee Housing Act and the regulations.


The State Law governing employee housing is entitled the “Employee Housing Act” and may be found in Division 13, Part 1 of the California Health and Safety Code, commencing with Section 17000. This Act establishes requirements for permits, fees, and responsibilities of employee housing operators and enforcement agencies, including the Department.


Title 25, California Code of Regulations, Division 1, Chapter 1, Subchapter 3 includes specific requirements for the construction of housing, maintenance of grounds and buildings, minimum allowable sleeping space and facilities, sanitation, and heating. The provisions of the California Building Standards Code (Title 24) govern the construction of permanent buildings used for employee housing. (See also State Housing Law for appropriate building standards.) The construction of mobilehome and recreational vehicle lots within an employee housing facility is subject to provisions in the Mobilehome Parks Act and regulations adopted by the Department for such facilities.

Employee Housing Resources

Employee Housing Building Standards – CA Dept. of Housing and Community Development

Employee Housing Facility Inspection Information Booklet for Owners, Operators, and Residents

Resources from CA Dept. of Housing and Community Development 

View the 2023 Certificate of Non-Operation here

Contact Information

For employee housing/farm worker complaints, call Aris Veloso, EHS IV Housing Program, work cell: (650) 463-6925, use the Online Complaint Form, or email

Healthy Home Resources

Pests need water, food, and shelter to live, just like you. Explore what you can do to get rid of them and prevent them from invading your home. 

Reducing moisture prevents and reduces mold growth. Your first action is to address the source of the moisture, which causes mold. 


Landlord Resources

Landlord Resources
Prevent Rental Housing Violations

Sign up to receive important housing program email and/or text notifications

Multi-family dwellings are inspected periodically for health and safety violations by Environmental Health Services (EHS). If you own or manage a multi-family dwelling in San Mateo County, ensure your property is safe, healthy, and ready for inspection.

The EHS Housing Inspection Program offers the following resources for guidance on avoiding the most common violations:

General information

Smoke-Free Housing

Drifting smoke in multi-unit housing (such as apartments and condos) is a danger to children and families. While the number of current smokers in our community continues to decrease, many residents are still exposed to secondhand smoke every day. This is why the San Mateo County Tobacco Education Coalition (TEC) educates tenants about what steps they can take if smoke is drifting into their unit. At the same time, TEC works with landlords to educate them about the benefits of developing smoke-free policies for the apartment or condo buildings they own.

General information

Protect Your Children from Lead Poisoning

Lead is a poison. Lead is harmful even in very small amounts, and it is most dangerous for young children.

The San Mateo County Lead Prevention Program’s mission is to prevent lead exposure for young children. We provide case management support around reducing lead exposure as well as other preventative services that families may need, such as referrals to community resources. Home visits and services are provided by Public Health Nurses and Senior Community Workers.  

Services include:   

  • Home visit to identify triggers and provide education around preventing exposure.  
  • Developing plan with families to address concerns.  
  • Support around scheduling blood level lead tests.  
  • Collaborate with medical providers and Environmental Health Dept. 
2000 Alameda de las Pulgas
San Mateo, CA 94403
(650) 573-2877