Code Enforcement

Beaufort County Code Enforcement’s mission is to work in partnership with the residents and businesses within unincorporated Beaufort County to improve the quality of life through fair and equitable enforcement of Beaufort County Zoning codes and County ordinances. We strive to ensure the public health, welfare, and safety of our citizens, to protect the environment, and preserve the natural beauty of the Lowcountry.

What Do We Investigate?

Beaufort County Code Enforcement has jurisdiction in the unincorporated areas of the County. The ordinances enforced by this department do not supersede the ordinances of any municipality within Beaufort County. Any violation occurring within a municipality should be reported to the appropriate agency in the Town or City. We are primarily tasked with investigating violations of the following County Codes and Ordinances:

  • Beaufort County Community Development Code, which addresses zoning & development regulations in the unincorporated areas of Beaufort County.
  • Beaufort County Code of Ordinances
    • Chapter 18 – Businesses
    • Chapter 38 – Environment
      • Article II – Trash & Litter Control
      • Article III – Junked & Abandoned Vehicles

Violations and questions relating to Building Codes are handled by the Beaufort County Building Inspections Department.

How to Report a Possible Violation

Before filing a complaint, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions section for information which may assist you with your questions and concerns.

We are normally available by telephone 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. After hours, on weekends, and holidays you may leave a voicemail and your call will be returned on the following business day. Department contact information is location on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

It is important to include the following information in your complaint:

  • The type and description of violation occurring.
  • The address and/or parcel identification number (also called PIN, DMP, or TMS number) for the
  • location of the violation. Failure to provide at least one of these may delay the investigative
  • process.
  • Any contact information you may have for the owner/tenant of the property you believe to be in
  • violation (name, phone number, mailing address etc.).
  • Can the violation be observed from the public right-of-way? (Yes or No)
  • If the violation cannot be observed from the public right-of-way, but can be observed from your
  • property, will you provide access to the officer, if necessary? (Yes or No)
  • For officer safety, is there a history of illegal activity, dangerous animals, or other information (e.g., drugs, assaults, vicious dogs, etc.) of which our officers should be made aware?
  • Your name, phone number and address, so that we may contact you with additional questions, if we need clarification about your complaint, or so we can inform you when the case is resolved. 

You have the option to submit an anonymous complaint, however, if you do not provide sufficient information, we may not be able to respond effectively to your request. The investigation may be significantly delayed, unable to be located from the information provided or unable to be observed from the public right-of-way. Anonymous complaints that are not visible from the public right-of-way, or are incomplete, inaccurate, or contain non-verifiable information may be deemed invalid, and result in no enforcement action.

Frequently we receive complaints or inquiries that are not in our jurisdiction (Town of Bluffton, City of Beaufort, Town of Hilton Head Island, etc.) or the nature of the complaint is not something we investigate. Without a way to contact you, we cannot advise you of this information or provide you with information on other agencies or resources that may be able to assist you. Please refer to our Resources & Reporting Other Concerns section for helpful information.

If you live in a development that has a Homeowners Association (HOA) or Property Owners Association (POA), please try to resolve your issue through their procedures prior to contacting us.

Our staff’s duties take us out of the office and into the field most of the day, so should you need to meet with one of our staff, it is highly recommended to telephone and make an appointment.

Your cooperation is vital and greatly appreciated. We look forward to working with you, for a better Beaufort County.

Submit a Complaint