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Housing Program


Environmental Health Services is responsible for enforcing State health laws, quarantines, and orders related to housing, including areas of interior and exterior maintenance, sanitation, and occupancy standards. Authority to enter and conduct housing inspections is derived from the California Health & Safety Code Section 17970.

All multi-unit (4 or more) rental properties are subject to routine housing inspections by this Division and assessed an annual fee as set by County Ordinance, Title 5, Chapter 5.64, §5.64.070. Multi-unit buildings are inspected to comply with minimum standards as set forth in §17920.3, (substandard building), & §17920.10, (lead hazards).

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

The Housing program inspects the following:

• Rental properties (apartment buildings of 4 units or more)

Hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts  (B&Bs)
Mobile home parks (within unincorporated San Mateo County)
Organized camps 
Employee housing 
Detention facilities 

For all other issues contact your city’s code enforcement department 

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

For issues regarding properties in unincorporated areas click here.

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

To file a complaint about a townhome or condominium, contact the owner, HOA, or obtain legal advice.

Steps to resolve your housing complaint

• Contact your landlord or manager in writing regarding your complaint
• Give landlord or manager adequate time to resolve your complaint
• If the problem persists, contact Environmental Health Services at (650) 599-1112, or click here.

Additional Information and Resources

Housing Application/Change of Information Form
Health and Safety Code 
Certification of Repairs Form 
Bed Bug Information 
Pest Control Services Guide
Information on mold in your home 
Lead Poisoning Prevention
Mosquito and Vector Control 
Landlord-Tenant Conflict Resolution 
Sewage Cleanup 
Aging and Adult Services 
Tenant & Landlord Rights Guide 

Related Content

General information
Call the Anonyous Smoke-Free Hotline @ (650) 573-3777 to report drifting smoke.

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