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Reporting Illegal Work

Anyone may report illegal construction affecting historic landmarks or occurring in historic districts. You may report illegal work anonymously to the Historic Preservation Office (HPO).

Identifying Illegal Construction

If a property is under construction, DC building codes require a posted permit visible from public space. The permit lists the work allowed—for example, it may say "Interior Work Only" or "Wood Replacement Windows to Match Original."

If you are unsure whether active construction has a permit, check the Property Information Verification System (PIVS) or the Online Building Permit Application Tracking (OBPAT) system of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) which are searchable by address or permit number.

If the information on PIVS or OBPAT is unclear, or you are unsure what the permit allows, please email [email protected] or call HPO at (202) 442-7600.

Requesting an Inspection

If work appears to violate the terms of a posted permit, or you do not see a posted permit, you may request an inspection. You may report violations at any time, but see below for urgent situations and after-hours work.

To request an HPO inspection select the button below to fill out the HPO Inspection Request form. A photograph of the work you are reporting is helpful but not required.

Select the button above to complete the form

If you encounter a problem filling out the form, please send the following information to [email protected] or call HPO at (202) 442-7600:

  • Address, date, and time of the work
  • Whether the work is in progress or has been completed
  • A brief description of the work being done or completed
  • If possible, photograph of work

If you are unsure whether the site of illegal work is historic, check DC PropertyQuest. Please contact DCRA for illegal construction on non-historic buildings or property, structural or interior work, after-hours work.

Select the button above 

Urgent Situations

If illegal work threatens public safety, occurs outside of normal business hours, or is otherwise urgent, report violations to DCRA by calling 311 and providing the information listed above. You can also report it online at 311.dc.gov, or by using mobile app DC311, texting DC311, or tweeting @311dcgov.

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