Common Violations


The Code Enforcement Office has created the brochure, Lakeland Up to Code, to inform property owners and tenants of some of the most common violations within the City of Lakeland.

For additional information, and links to specific ordinance text, see the Common Code Violations below.

You may also review Lakeland's Code of Ordinances and Land Development Code.

A photo of the Lakeland Up to Code brochure cover page


Common Violations Include:

  • Overgrowth / Lot Cleaning & Clearing

    Section 86-2 of the Lakeland Code of Ordinances prohibits untended growth, grass and weeds in excess of 12 inches in height.  Below is an example of prohibited overgrowth.

    Over Growth/Lot Cleaning & Clearing

  • Derelict Vehicles

    Ordinance 4134 makes it unlawful to park or store any derelict, disabled, inoperative, or abandoned vehicle except when the vehicle is stored within a fully enclosed, legally constructed building (like a garage).  Below is an example of a prohibited derelict vehicle.

    Derelict Vehicles Photo

  • Care of Premises

    Section 307.4 of the City's Housing Code makes it unlawful to utilize residential property for the open storage of items not designed for outdoor use.  Below is an example of a Care of Premises violation.

    Care of Premises Photo

  • Housing

    Lakeland's Housing Code provides minimum standards for all residential dwelling units in the City, including those related to roofs and components, exterior walls and doors, windows and components, interior floors, walls and ceilings, and electrical and plumbing systems.

    In rare cases involving serious electrical violations, a certification form completed and signed by a licensed electrician may be required to confirm and document compliance.

    Below is an example of a house in violation of the Housing Code.

    Housing Code Violation

  • Signs

    Section 4.9 of the City's Land Development Code set forth the standards for permitted ground and building signs, and contain prohibitions for specific types of signs such as banners, pennants, streamers, inflatables, portable signs, damaged signs, and signs located within public rights-of-way.  Below is an example of a prohibited sign.

    Sign Photo

  • Zoning

    Ordinance 5425 adopted Lakeland's Land Development Code which establishes various zoning districts and acceptable uses within those districts, and also regulates fences, commercial vehicles, boats, trailers, and recreational vehicles, parking and landscaping, etc.

  • Unsecured Buildings

    Ordinance 3371 makes it unlawful for any owner to permit a building to be open to all elements and unprotected as a result of the omission or disrepair of windows, doors, walls or other enclosures.  The ordinance further provides specific procedures for appropriately and legally securing a structure.

  • Environmental

    Environmental codes include illicit discharges into the City's stormwater system, construction site best management practices (BMPs), leaking solid waste dumpsters, illegal dumping, blowing, placing or allowing yard clippings to enter the stormwater system, and placement of solid waste and recycling containers, i.e. location, days, times.  See Chapter 86 of the City of Lakeland Code of Ordinances for additional details.

     A photo of stromwater drain

  • Stagnant Water

    Section 86-2 of the Lakeland Code of Ordinances prohibits stagnant water which may become a breeding place for mosquitoes or endangers the health, safety and welfare of the public.  Below is an example of stagnant water.

    Stagnant Water Photo

  • Minimum Maintenance of Commercial Structures

    Ordinance 4131 provides minimum maintenance standards for the exterior of commercial, office and industrial structures and properties.

  • Minimum Maintenance Downtown

    Ordinance 3168 outlines minimum standards for improved and unimproved properties downtown, including storefronts, windows, grounds, parking lots, and awnings.  Further, Ordinance 4297 clarifies design review of downtown properties as the purview of the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority.

  • Posting of Building Numbers

    Ordinance 4775 provides a roadway naming and building numbering system, and further requires that assigned building numbers (addresses) shall be displayed by permanently attaching the building number to the building front using Arabic numerals at least three inches (3") high.

  • Animals

    Chapter 10 of the Lakeland Code of Ordinances regulates animals within the corporate limits, including prohibitions on roosters, separation requirements for chickens and fowl and other livestock, and also specifically prohibits nuisances caused by animals including appearance and odor.  The Animal Control Section of the Polk County Sheriff's Office responds to and investigates complaints of barking dogs.