Housing & Zoning

Department Responsibilities

The responsible of the Housing and Zoning Code Enforcement Office includes the enforcement of the City’s ordinances pertaining to the Housing and Zoning Codes. 

This includes rental property registration, issuance of Dwelling Permits and the inspection of all rental properties. 

This department also issues all Zoning Permits and oversees the Board of Zoning Appeals and the City Planning Commission meetings.

Submit Zoning Complaint

If you think a Niles property is not following the housing or zoning code. Please submit the form here with your complaint

The City of Niles establishes a Fair Housing Board that investigates and resolves housing discrimination complaints. Fair Housing Law makes it illegal to discriminate in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental handicaps, or familial status. 


If you feel you have been a victim of discrimination, we want to hear from you. Please contact:


Jeffery Crowley, Sr. 


(330) 544-9000 x 1183

Fair Housing Brochure

View the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing (2019) 



Accessory buildings shall be subject to the following regulations:

(a) No accessory building shall be used for the conduct of a business or industry therein.

(b) Accessory buildings shall be permitted for the following purposes:

(1) Detached private garage on the same lot as the principal building. No part of any such private garage shall be used for residence purposes.

(2) Storage building or structure, including a green house, pool house, gazebo and similar structures.

(c) Accessory buildings may only be located in the rear yard.

(d) The area occupied by all permitted accessory uses shall not exceed the lesser of twenty-five percent (25%) of the rear yard, or 1,152 square feet. In no instance shall the floor area of any accessory building exceed the ground floor area of the principal building of the lot.

(e) Any permitted accessory use must be located at least two feet from any lot line.

(f) Private garages (attached or detached) are further limited, so that total garage area shall not exceed 1,152 square feet in floor area.

(g) Storage buildings or other permitted structures are further limited so that only one such structure can be placed per residential parcel, except that one additional structure may be added provided it is not used for storage and its purpose is part of landscaping or recreational use, such as a patio, hot tub, gazebo, green house or similar structure. Metal storage buildings permitted under this subsection may not exceed 100 square feet. Other building or structure permitted under this subsection may not exceed 200 square feet.

(h) The minimum pitch for the roof of an accessory building shall be 4/12. The maximum height of any accessory building shall not exceed 15 feet from floor level to the roof peak.

(i) In the case of a corner lot, no wall of an accessory building shall be nearer to the side street line than the side wall of the main building. If the rear of a corner lot abuts on a lot with the principal frontage on the side street, the accessory building on such corner lot shall be setback from the side street line a distance of not less than twenty-five feet.

(j) Swimming pools shall not be considered an accessory use, but shall remain five feet from any property line, and a five foot “green area” shall be maintained around them. No swimming pools may be placed in front of the building setback line.

(k) Canvas free standing structures other than for extraordinary uses as permitted by zoning officials shall be prohibited as accessory buildings. No new metal free standing structure other than a metal storage building not exceeding 100 square feet shall be permitted as an accessory building. Existing canvas free standing structures in violation of this subsection must be removed within one year of the effective date of this section.

(Ord. 14-09. Passed 6-3-09.)

SMOKE ALARMS REQUIRED: In order to protect the occupants of rental units located throughout our City from fires and to reduce the chance that a fire will start, at least one (1) fully operable, properly installed and appropriately placed smoke alarm must be on every floor of the structure , including the basement. IF THE RENTAL UNIT DOES NOT CONTAIN THESE DEVICES, THEY MUST BE INSTALLED IMMEDIATELY.

STAIRS/HANDRAILS: Every inside and outside set of stairs shall have a handrail firmly fastened, capable of supporting normally imposed loads, and shall be maintained in good condition.

ELECTRICAL & SERVICE EQUIPMENT: Every dwelling shall be serviced with a main service that is not less than 60 amperes. In order to maintain the wiring and facilities in a good and safe state of repair, and to eliminate shock hazards, the following basic code requirements shall be met:

GFI (GROUND FAULT INTERRUPTER) OUTLETS: Any electrical appliance used near wet conditions can be extremely hazardous, or even fatal. As a result, the installation of a GFI outlet in these environments can offer life saving protection. A GFI outlet will stop the flow of electricity when the appliance comes in contact with the water in an amount of time less than that likely to harm a person coming in contact with the shock. One (1) GFI outlet is required in every bathroom, and any existing outlets along the entire counter top in a kitchen must be converted to the GFI type outlet;

  • Each habitable room must contain 1 light switch and 2 outlets located on opposite walls
  • Exposed wires shall have insulation which is in good condition
  • Every fixture and outlet shall be fastened in place and have plate covers
  • No obvious shock hazards shall exist
  • No electric circuit shall be overloaded


  • The water heating facility shall be maintained in a safe working condition, and provide hot water at no less than 120 degrees at all times
  • Each habitable room shall have a window which is operable, in a state of good repair, glazed, and provided with suitable hardware
  • The heating unit shall be in good working order, and provide a temperature of 70 degrees plus, when the outdoor temperature is 0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • No cellar space shall be used as a dwelling unit. Basements may be used as a workroom or recreation room under certain conditions
  • Floors, walls and ceilings shall be weather tight and kept in good repair
  • All windows, doors and hatchways shall be kept in good repair
  • All plumbing fixtures required, shall be free of defects and be in good working condition


  • The exterior of the building and any accessory building and garages shall show no signs of deterioration
  • All roof covering, including porch roofs, shall be weather tight and maintained in good repair
  • Gutters and downspouts shall be placed around all roof surfaces
  • All stairs, porches and appurtenances shall be in good condition and good repair
  • No lead paint shall be used for interior or exterior painting
  • All exterior wood surfaces of an outbuilding shall be protected by paint or other appropriate coating


City Building

34 West State Street

Niles, Ohio 44446

330-544-9000 x 1183


Monday – Friday

8 AM – 4 PM

Jeffery Crowley, Sr.

Lead Inspector
Code Enforcement Officer