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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Building Inspection is open to the public by appointment only.

For more on appointments and other services, please see the Building Inspection Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

View all impacts to City service on the City's COVID-19 website.

Reporting Complaints

Housing Complaint Process

If you're having issues with your dwelling, first contact the owner or management. If they are not responsive, you may contact Building Inspection at (608) 266-4551 ext. 4. You do not have to wait months to call us.

After your complaint, an inspector will call you to schedule a time to see the property. The inspector will do an inspection to see if the issues you're having are against code. If we find code violations, we will send an Official Notice to the owner. The Official Notice will list the issues and the due dates by which items must be fixed.

The inspector will set up a reinspection date after the due date. At the reinspection, they will see if the items were addressed. If the items were not addressed, we may issue a reinspection fee or citation to the owner. If the issues remain, we may refer the case to the City Attorney for legal action.


When you call to complain, we will need:
  • your name

  • your contact information

  • your address (including unit #)

  • access to the areas of the dwelling (or part of the building) where the violations are

Retaliation protections

Property owners legally cannot evict you, or threaten to do so, if you complain of a code violation.. That would be a violation of MGO 32.15. It would also violate Statute 704.45 and ATCP 134.09(5).

A property owner may evict you if you are breaking a rule that is in your lease or if you're behind on rent. However, they would have to prove that the eviction is not retaliatory.

To report retaliation, please fill out this form (PDF). Email the completed form to You can also mail the form to P.O. Box 2984 Madison, WI 53701-2984. See here for a print version (PDF) of the form.

Common Issues
  • Peeling paint
  • Degraded porches
  • Siding, chimneys and roofs
  • Broken windows and damaged doors
  • Plumbing and electrical issues
  • Poor heat
  • Broken locks on doors and windows
  • Holes in walls
  • Degraded floor coverings
  • Missing and faulty smoke alarms.

Call (608) 266-4551, ext 4. You can also use the interior housing report a problem tool.

Last Updated: 04/05/2022

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Rent Abatement

Tenants may be able to reduce their rent if a landlord hasn't corrected certain housing code violations.

Rent Abatement procedure »