Property Code Enforcement header image

Property Code Enforcement plays a critical role in maintaining our City's neighborhoods and the standards that help to keep Saint Paul a great place to live and work.

Listed below are some simple rules related to many commonly reported property maintenance issues: 

Abandoned Vehicles

Abandoned or junk cars on private property may be reported by calling 651-266-8989. For a definition of an illegal abandoned vehicle visit the Abandoned Vehicles page. If the car or vehicle is on the street or on public right of way, contact Saint Paul Police at 651-291-1111.

Boulevard Plantings

Property owners are allowed to plant, care for and maintain gardens on the boulevards adjacent to their property, with some important restrictions. To learn about what is permitted, visit the Boulevard Plantings page

Exterior Storage

Materials and equipment must be kept indoors or stored in a garage or shed, and not visible from adjoining properties. Items such as outdoor furniture, grills, outdoor toys, etc. are not covered by this provision.  

Garbage/Recycling Containers

Except for the day of pick up, waste and recycling containers may not be left on the boulevard. If additional bags or bulky items need to be picked up, please call your garbage hauler to arrange for pick up. To find your garbage and recycling hauler, use this interactive Garbage and Recycling map. Do not put trash in the recycling bin. The City and Ramsey County provide many resources for recycling, bulk pick up, and waste reduction. To learn more, visit this Recycling and Waste Reduction page.


All graffiti must be removed from the property. The City has a graffiti removal program that provides free removal by completing a waiver and consent form and submitting it to the City.

Hazardous Wastes

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, federal Environmental Protection Agency and others have extensive knowledge about hazardous waste, how to report spills, and where to dispose of materials. To learn about reporting a hazardous waste spill, visit Agencies that Deal with Hazardous Waste page

Home Occupations

An occupation may be carried on in a home by a person who lives there, provided that the use is limited and secondary to the use of the dwelling as a home, and does not change the character of the property. To certify a home occupation, a Home Occupation affidavit must be filed. Learn more on our Zoning Permits and Land Uses page.

Illegal Dumping

If materials are illegally dumped in the public right-of-way the City’s Public Works Department will remove the items. If materials are left on the property, including the boulevard or alley, the owner must arrange pick up with their garbage hauler, or remove the items and properly dispose of them.

Overhanging Vegetation

Any overgrown vegetation, including trees, obstructing the public right of way, sidewalk, boulevard, and alley areas must be cut and disposed of properly. Public sidewalks must be cleared edge-to-edge and up to seven feet high for pedestrians. Alleys and streets must be cleared from edge-to-edge and up to 14 feet high. Cut and remove overgrown, uncontrolled vegetation, shrubs, trees, vines throughout the yard that may harbor rodents. (The City does not have enforceable code for trees or vegetation hanging into neighboring private properties.) 

Rats, Cockroaches and other Vermin

The response varies depends on the type of nuisance animal. Code Enforcement can issue orders about controlling cockroaches. Animal Control officers bait for rats and conducts fog tests for possible breaks in sewer lines. For more details visit the Rats, Cockroaches and other Vermin page


Properties need to be kept free of refuse and waste. All waste material, debris, recycling, yard waste or garbage, loose and scattered litter, feces, discarded furniture, appliances, vehicle parts, scrap wood and metal, household items, building materials or rubble, tires, and brush must be properly stored or removed and properly disposed of, away from the property (includes the yard, boulevard, alley and driveway).


Property owners or managers are responsible for clearing all snow and ice from sidewalks in front of their home or business 24 hours after a snow fall. For basic sidewalk snow shoveling information visit the Snow Shoveling Information page. Snow and ice must be removed from the full width of the walkways, and to the clear pavement. Salt and sand as needed. Corner properties are also required to clear the ramp to the street. For shoveling FAQs, visit the Snow-Related FAQs page

Tall Grass and Weeds

Weeds or grass more than eight inches high or that have gone to seed must be cut or mowed. Noxious weeds, as defined by the state Department of Agriculture, must be controlled or destroyed completely. 

Vacant Buildings

City ordinance requires that vacant buildings be registered with the City. Call 651-266-8989 to report a vacant building and an inspector will come out to determine the status of the building. See the Vacant Building page to learn more about the process. 

Additionally, the City can condemn a building on an emergency basis if it poses an immediate threat to public health and safety. To learn about what can trigger condemnation, including a building that does not have basic facilities, visit the page on Condemning a Building.

Vehicles and Parking Violations

All vehicles must be correctly licensed, operable, secure from unauthorized entry, and parked on a paved surface, inside a garage or enclosed shed. Vehicles may not be parked in the yard or block the sidewalk or alley. Call police non-emergency line at 651-291-1111 for cars parked illegally on the street.

Appeal an Order

Any property owner or tenant affected by an order issued for a building, fire, housing or health related code issue may appeal the order. To learn about this process, visit the Code Enforcement Appeals page

What is a Nuisance?

The list of conditions that create unhealthy, unsafe or hazardous circumstances--from dangerous buildings to fire hazards, graffiti and more--are set out in Chap. 45 of Saint Paul Municipal Code (see link below). The ordinance also gives the city authority to correct any of these conditions, including violations of the Fire Code, violations of health and sanitation laws, and more. For more information, visit the City's Legislative Hearings page, here.

City Code Sections

To find relevant Saint Paul City Code sections follow these links:

Last Edited: March 5, 2024