How-To for Nosey Neighbors: Searching/Reporting Codes Violations & Permits

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Do you have neighbors that you just don’t like? Are you ready to fire back at those tall-and-skinnies? Did your neighbor put up some fake ‘private parking’ signs or cones? Do you want to know how many times a property has been reported in the past, and what for, and what was done? Did you know that you can do all of this online, and anonymously!

violation - report

Here is a list of the violations that you can report online & the link:

Nashville/Metro – Report a Codes Violation (opens in new window)

Abandoned vehicle on the public Right-of-way
Abandoned vehicle on private property
Building or remodeling without a permit
Business operating in a residence
Consignment sale in a residential area
Construction without required permit
Dilapidated house or building
Failure to maintain required landscaping
Failure to provide required trees for new development
Farm animals, exotic or native wildlife
Graffiti on private property
High grass, weeds, and junk, trash and debris
High grass, weeds, and an inoperable/unlicensed vehicle
High grass, weeds on a vacant lot
High grass, weeds on an improved property
Junk, trash or debris on an improved property
Parking on the grass (at a residence)
Removal of protected trees (larger than 6″ diameter)
Removal of required landscaping
Repairing vehicles in a residential area
Report an unlicensed contractor
Rooming house/boarding house operating without permit
Sign violations

When submitting a violation, Please Note:
“All of the information submitted becomes part of the public record. The personal contact information is not required in order to submit a request. If you wish to remain anonymous, do not complete the contact information. However, if you would like to be contacted after we receive your request you will have to provide us with your return email address.”

violation - search

Now that you know what you CAN report, let’s learn how to see what has been reported!

Click here to access the KIVA System to search for complaints (opens in new window)

Search Tips:

  • Placing a wildcard (%) after the search criteria retrieves all the records that start with the search criteria.
  • Placing a wildcard (%) in front of the search criteria retrieves all the records that end with the search criteria.
  • Placing a wildcard (%) on both sides of your search criteria retrieves all the records that contain the search criteria somewhere within the field.
  • If a wildcard (%) is not used, only the records with an exact match on the search criteria entered will be found.
  • All date formats are dd-mmm-yyyy (Example 01-jan-2016).

search examples

If you lived on Boscobel and wanted to view ALL of the complaints for your street, simply put “%” in the house number box(or leave it blank) and “Boscobel” in the street name. If you wanted a certain block on Boscobel you could put “4%” for the house number, and it would return all the 4’s, including the 400 block, etc…

bosc street search

which will return this:

bos results

Here is the official user guide for the Nashville Metro KIVA System for searching complaints:

Here is some more information on exactly what is required to validate a violation:

Dilapidated Structures

All buildings or structures (residential and non-residential) are now subject to the minimum maintenance standards outlined in the Property Standards Code. All are required to be in good general condition (interior and exterior) and maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition.

Inoperable or Unlicensed Vehicles

Except as may be otherwise permitted by the Zoning Code, inoperable, unlicensed or unregistered motor vehicles shall not be openly parked, kept, or stored on any premises. Such vehicles must be repaired, licensed or stored in a garage or enclosure, or removed from the premises to comply with the Metro Property Standards Code.

Yard Areas

All exterior property and premises shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition. Except as otherwise provided for in the Zoning Code, it is unlawful to utilize a premises for the open storage of any inoperable, unlicensed or unregistered motor vehicle, appliance, building material, rubbish, tires, automotive parts, junk, yard or debris. It is the responsibility of every owner or occupant to remove all such openly stored items upon notice from Metro Codes.

Abandoned Vehicles on the Public Right-of-way

  • Vehicles may not be abandoned on public property. Abandoned vehicles on public property are defined by State and local law as: (1.) vehicles which are “more than 4 years old” and remain unattended on the public right-of-way for ten (10) days, or (2.) vehicles in an “obvious state of disrepair” which remain unattended on the public right-of-way for at least three (3) days.
  • Vehicles, which have been abandoned on a ‘Vacant lot’, should be referred to the Codes Department—(615) 862-6590. Vehicles which are abandoned on Interstate Highways should be referred to the Tennessee Highway Patrol at (615) 741-3181.
  • Vehicles, which are ‘illegally parked’, ‘stolen’, or ‘obstructing traffic’ on highways, streets or roads, should be referred to the Metropolitan Police Department at (615) 862-8600.
  • Section 12.08.150 of the Metro Code of Laws provides that the Police Department may impound any vehicle when left parked in an alley, street, highway or thoroughfare for a period of 48 hours without current registration. Call the Metropolitan Police Department at (615) 862-8600.


  • The Property Standards Code states that it shall be the duty of the owner of any building to remove graffiti and restore the damaged exterior surface to an approved state of maintenance and repair.
  • Graffiti on the Public Right-of-way, street signs, bridges, overpasses, etc. should be reported to the Department of Public Works at (615) 862-8750.

Business Operating in Residential Area

A business may not operate in a residential zone district unless a Home Occupation Permit has been obtained. Before obtaining a permit, nine (9) conditions must be met by the applicant. The permit allows one (1) “non-resident” employee to work on the premises. No customers or clients may visit the premises. There shall be no visible signs from the dwelling indicating the type of business being operated. The area used for the Home Occupation Permit may not exceed 20% of the area of the premises, but in no event more than 500 square feet.

Repairing Vehicles in a Residential Area

Any homeowner or tenant engaged in the business of repairing or stripping vehicles in a residential zone district is in violation of the Zoning Code. Only vehicles owned by persons residing on the premises may be repaired on the premises.

Farm Animals

Common domestic farm animals, exotic and native wildlife are restricted in residential areas. For residential zoned districts, the minimum lot size is five (5) acres.

Premises Identification

  • All buildings and structures within Davidson County shall have approved address numbers posted in accordance with the Metro Property Standards Code.
  • Residential numbers shall be a minimum of 3” in size. Multi-family and commercial numbers shall be a minimum 6” in size. All numbers are to be posted on a contrasting background and be plainly ‘visible and legible’ from the street. Residences may have their numbers attached to the mailbox, if the mailbox is next to the street.

Tree Removal Ordinance

It is unlawful to remove a “protected tree” without first obtaining a Tree Removal Permit. Protected trees are trees six (6”) inches or more in diameter on any property other than a property platted for a 1 or 2 family residential development. Removal of protected trees may create the necessity for the planting of ‘replacement trees’ based on an acceptable tree plan provided at the time of issuance of a Tree Removal Permit. The tree removal penalty will be determined by the Environmental Court Judge.

Parking and Paving Requirements

The Zoning Code and Health Code specify that permanent parking areas containing five (5) or more spaces must be surfaced with a hard-surfaced, dustless material. The Property Standards Code further provides that vehicles parked at private residences may not be parked on the grass.

Yard and Garage Sales

A resident is allowed no more than two (2) yard/garage sales each year, for no more than three (3) days at a time. More than two (2) generally constitutes doing business in a residential area, and is not permitted. The purpose for a garage sale is to allow a property owner or resident the opportunity to periodically dispose of unused or unwanted household items. Consignment sales are strictly prohibited.


  • Any person erecting a sign without a sign permit is in violation of the code. If the sign is being connected electrically, an Electrical Permit is also needed. Portable signs are not permitted in Davidson County.
  • Sign locations can be in violation as well, i.e. if a sign is located too close to a property line, or within the right-of-way, the owner will be notified to relocate the sign to comply with requirements of the Zoning Code.
  • Signs are not permitted to be located in the public right-of-way, or upon utility poles.
  • If a zone change is requested, the owner is referred to the Metropolitan Planning Commission and the District Council person. If no action is taken by the owner after notification, legal action will be initiated.

Rooming and Boarding Houses

A dwelling utilized as a rooming or boarding house may be a violation of the Zoning Code, i.e. too many apartments in one building. Rooming houses require permits. All residential zone districts limit the number of dwelling units on the property. Conversions of residential or other accessory structures are required to have proper permits prior to construction or occupancy.

When A Permit Is Required?

  • It is the duty of every person desiring to construct, alter, repair, enlarge, move or demolish a building or structure, or part thereof, or any appurtenances connected or attached thereto, or to install any heating, air conditioning/ventilation, mechanical, electrical or plumbing systems, to obtain proper permits. Building permits are required for roof replacements/repairs if the project involves repairs to more than one-third (1/3) of the building’s roof area.
  • Only properly licensed contractors may obtain permits or perform work in Davidson County. However, homeowners may be permitted to build their own personal residence or to perform work on their own personal residence or other residential property. Any electrical, plumbing, or mechanical work being performed by a homeowner on a house must be approved, in advance, by the Chief Inspector or the appropriate Metropolitan Board according to the Metropolitan Code of Laws.

In addition to the codes system, you can also access permits online.

Search Nashville/Metro Permits Online (opens in new window)

Much like the codes, you can search in many different ways, by type, contractor, address, street, block, parcels, etc.

  • Placing a wildcard (%) after the search criteria retrieves all the records that start with the search criteria.
  • Placing a wildcard (%) in front of the search criteria retrieves all the records that end with the search criteria.
  • Placing a wildcard (%) on both sides of your search criteria retrieves all the records that contain the search criteria somewhere within the field.
  • If a wildcard (%) is not used, only the records with an exact match on the search criteria entered will be found.

Here are some search examples:

permit examples

Here is the full manual for the Permit KIVA system:

Here is a list of all the PERMIT types:

Permit Types
Description of Permit
CAAB Building and Fire Board Appeal
CAAE Electrical Board Appeal
CAAL Electrical Alarm Permit
CAAM Mechanical Board Appeal
CAAP Plumbing Board Appeal
CAAV Property St / Violations Appeal
CAAZ Zoning Board Appeal
CABL Building Blasting Permit
CACA Building Commercial – Addition
CACE Building Commercial – Amend Permit
CACF Building Commercial – Foundation
CACG Building Commercial – Structural Frame
CACH Building Commercial – Shell
CACJ Building Commercial – Fire Damage
CACK Building Commercial – Roofing / Siding
CACL Building Commercial – Storm Damage
CACN Building Commercial – New
CACP Building Commercial – Change Contractor
CACR Building Commercial – Rehab
CACT Building Commercial – Tenant Finish Out
CACV Building Commercial – Code Repair
CACW Building Commercial – Renew Permit
CACY Converted Y Type Building Commercial
CADM Building Demolition Permit
CAEL Electrical Permit
CAES Electrical Sign Permit
CAEP Electrical Photovoltaic Permit
CAGA Gas / Mech Up To 750 BTUS – AC
CAGH Gas / Mech up to 1500 BTUs – HC
CAGJ GAS / Mech Gas Piping – JC, PC
CAGM Gas / Mech Permit – MC, VC
CAGR GAS / Mech Replacement – HC, MC, VC
CAHV Electrical HVAC Permit
CALV Electrical Low Voltage Permit
CAMV Building Moving Permit
CAPL Plumbing Permit
CARA Building Residential – Addition
CARE Building Residential – Amend Permit
CARF Building Residential – Foundation
CARG Building Residential – Structural Frame
CARH Building Residential – Shell
CARJ Building Residentail – Fire Damage
CARK Building Residential – Roofing / Siding
CARL Building Residential – Storm Damage
CARN Building Residential – New
CARP Building Residential – Change Contractor
CARR Building Residential – Rehab
CART Building Residential – Tenant Finish Out
CARV Building Residential – Code Repair
CARW Building Residential – Renew Permit
CARY Converted Y Type Building Residential
CASN Building Sign Permit
CASP Plumbing – Septic Permit
CATR Building Tree Removal Permit
CAUO Building Use & Occupancy
CAXX Converted Blank Permit Type
CAZZ Converted Comzo Change Permit
KD50 Building Valuation Estimation
LAC License Metro Gas/Appl Contractor
LAG License Gas & Appliance Installer
LAP License Apprentice Plumber
LCE License Master Electrician
LDC License State Electrical Contractor
LEC License Metro Electrical Contractor
LEQ License Eletrical Equipment Installer
LFC License State Alarm Contractor
LHC License Metro HVAC&R Contractor
LHV License HVAC&R Installer
LJC License State Plumbing Contractor
LJP License Journeyman Plumber
LLC License Metro Low Voltage Contractor
LLV License Low Voltage Installer
LMC License Metro Mechanical Contractor
LMM License Master Mechanic
LMP License Master Plumber
LPC License Metro Plumbing Contractor
LQC License Metro Equipment Installer Contr.
LSC License Metro Septic Contractor
LSP License Septic Tank
LTC License Tree Contractor
LTD Licensed Arborist
LVC License State Mechanical Contractor
PWCF PW Sidewalk Cafe Annual Permit
PWDW PW Driveway Permit
PWEL PW Excavation / Lane Closure Permit
PWES PW Excavation / Sidewalk Closure
PWEX PW Excavation Permit
PWLC PW Lane Closure
PWLS PW Lane / Sidewalk Closure
PWPP PW Parking Permit
PWSC PW Street Closure
PWSW PW Sidewalk Permit
PWTD PW Trailer / Dumpster Permit
WSCN WS Construction Permit
WSCX WS Cross Connect
WSSM WS Set Meter Permit
WSST WS Sewer Service Fees
WSSV WS Service Permit
WSWL WS Sewer Tap Wilson County
WSWM WS Sewer Tap Williamson County
WSWR WS Water Tap – Multiple RTC
WSWT WS Water Tap

Lastly, here are some resources you may find helpful:


Call / Text Kurt NOW! 615-479-0550

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  1. […] She posted the above facebook message late Thursday evening. We think she’s serious, and she knows how to report you for stuff, too! […]

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