Code Enforcement & Licensing


The Code Enforcement & Licensing Division is responsible for enforcing property maintenance and zoning codes within the City of Milford.  The Division issues rental operating licenses, contractor licenses and licenses for peddlers, solicitors and transient merchants, as well as administers the City's residential rental inspection program.

Code Enforcement

Below are links providing monthly Code Enforcement statistics and detailed reports on open code violations.  The Detailed Code Enforcement Progress Report provides progress information for individual cases and provides before and after photographs of those cases that have been remedied and closed in recent months.


Residential Rental Inspection Program

Program Overview
The City Council adopted Ordinance 2008-8 in 2008 requiring all residential rental properties in the City to register annually with the Planning Department.  The purpose of the rental registration program is to ensure code compliance, protect the health, safety and welfare of residents, and prevent deterioration of the housing stock through proactive inspection and enforcement of City ordinances.  Chapter 180 - Residential Rental Operating Licensing outlines the content and timing of applications, regulations for the issuance of licenses, inspection procedures, penalties for noncompliance and fees.

Licenses are obtained from the Planning Department at City Hall, 201 S. Walnut Street and are valid from January 1st to December 31st of each year.  The fee for the rental license is $50.00 per unit.

All rental units in the City of Milford will be inspected over the next two years, beginning with those units in Sussex County in 2018, followed by those units in Kent County in 2019.  Beginning in 2020, the City plans to inspect rental units annually by Ward (click here to find out what Ward you are located in).  Below is the inspection schedule for the next six (6) years;

  • 2018 - Sussex County - Completed
  • 2019 - Kent County
  • 2020 - Ward 1 *projected*
  • 2021 - Ward 2 *projected*
  • 2022 - Ward 3 *projected*
  • 2023 - Ward 4 *projected*

Rental properties that have been inspected for compliance with HUD or USDA Rural Development Housing Voucher programs need only submit the most current HUD/USDA inspection report in lieu of the City's inspection.  Copies of the inspection reports may be emailed to or faxed to the Code Enforcement Department at 302-424-3559.

Please note the above schedule is for routine inspections and the City reserves the right to inspect residential rental properties at any time to ensure compliance with City ordinances per Chapter 180 of the City Code.

Preparing for an Inspection
Landlords are encouraged to review the Pre-Inspection Checklist prior to an inspection to ensure compliance.  Rental inspections review compliance with Chapter 174 - Property Maintenance and the ICC 2015 International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) to ensure minimum maintenance and housing standards for basic equipment, light, ventilation, heating, sanitation and fire safety are maintained.

When an inspection is scheduled, it is the responsibility of the property owner to make sure the property is ready by the time the inspector arrives.  This includes notifying the tenant in accordance with applicable laws.  The inspector may arrive 15 minutes before or 15 minutes after the scheduled time.

Pets shall be placed outside or secured to minimize interference with a complete inspection of interior and exterior areas.

Owner/Caretaker Responsibility
When the rental inspection has been scheduled, it is the owner's responsibility to ensure the owner or caretaker is present during the inspection and that the tenants have been properly notified.  If the property fails the inspection, it is the owner's responsibility to ensure the noted violations are corrected.  Once violations are corrected, it is the owner's responsibility to schedule a re-inspection of the property.  The initial inspection and one re-inspection are provided at no charge to the owner.  Should the property require additional inspections, these will be assessed at $50.00 per inspection.  If the owner fails to comply with the requirements of Chapter 180, or other City Codes, the owner may be subject to violations and penalties as outlined in the City Code carrying a fine of up to $1,000 per day.

Below are additional resources for landlords and tenants of rental units within the City.

Rental Program Inspection Guide
Pre-Inspection Checklist
Rental Inspection Form
Chapter 180 - Residential Rental Operating Licenses
Chapter 174 - Property Maintenance
2015 International Property Maintenance Code
Chapter 88 - Building Construction