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 Housing 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:


Matthew Durno


(330) 544-9000 x 1183

Steven McGarrity, Executive Director

Community Legal Aid

50 South Main St., Suite 800

Akron, OH 44308

Phone: 330-983-2518

Email: smcgarrity@communitylegalaid.org

Website: https://www.communitylegalaid.org/

Fair Housing Brochure

View the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing (2019) 


Rental Registration Information


(a)  A dwelling permit shall be issued for residential non-owner-occupied dwelling units as required in this section by the office of the Housing Maintenance Code Enforcement Officer.

(Ord. 1-98. Passed 2-4-98.)

(b)  REQUIRED FEE – No dwelling unit shall be occupied by any person other than the owner thereof without a residential non-owner-occupied dwelling permit certifying that the dwelling meets the provisions of this Housing Maintenance Code.

(1)   No initial permit shall be issued without an inspection of the unit by the Housing Code Maintenance Officer or his designee to assure compliance with requirements of this Housing Maintenance Code.  In addition, an initial permit fee shall be paid by the owner for each dwelling unit.

(2)  The initial fee for this permit shall be $75.00 per unit and the renewal fee for this permit shall be $50.00 per unit except as follows:

Should the number of dwelling units within one complex exceed twenty (20), a permit fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) shall be paid for one permit provided in this section for that dwelling, and a permit fee of thirty dollars ($30.00) shall be paid for each remaining permit provided for in this section for the remaining dwellings. These dwelling units will not be subject to the occupancy change requirements.

If an occupancy change occurs, the landlord shall notify the Housing Code Maintenance Officer prior to reoccupying the rental unit. A fee of one hundred dollars ($100.00) shall be assessed to owners for failure to report a change of occupancy, regardless of when the change of occupancy occurred.  

Upon each change of occupancy per unit, an internal and external inspection shall be scheduled and conducted.  The cost of the inspection shall be $25.00.  A written report of said inspection(s) shall be issued to the landlord and kept on file at the Housing office. 

Upon the inspection of a rental property that is subject to an occupancy change, if the Housing Inspector determines that said property does not comply with the minimum standards as set forth in the Housing Ordinance of the City of Niles an Inspection Report will be issued to the landlord.  Once the code violation(s) are corrected a Utility Approval form will be issued to the landlord.  A copy of the Utility Approval form must be attached to the Landlord Utility form when transferring utilities into a tenant’s name.  The Utility Department shall not transfer any Niles utilities to any rental property, dwelling, dwelling unit, or rooming unit until said property complies with the requirements listed in this section.

 (3)  No permit shall be issued for a dwelling unit subject to this section without certification after inspection that the requirements of this Housing Maintenance Code have been complied with.

(ORD. 94-20. Passed 12-16-2020)


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:  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/GUARDRAILS:  Every inside and outside stair flight with more than three risers shall have a handrail and guardrails firmly fastened, capable of supporting normally imposed loads, and shall be maintained in good condition.  Guardrails shall be provided on all decks, platforms or landings that are 30” or more above grade.


ELECTRICAL & SERVICE EQUIPMENT:  Every dwelling shall be serviced with a main service that is not less than 60 amperes and shall comply with the following requirements listed below:


  • One (1) GFI (GROUND FAULT INTERRUPTER) outlet is required in every bathroom and any existing outlet along the entire countertop in a kitchen or other water source, such as laundry sinks. Existing outlets in these areas must be converted to this type of outlet.
  • Each habitable room must contain one (1) light switch and two (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, and all wiring must be installed to code.
  • A ceiling type electric light fixture and/or a switch wall receptacle with a wall switch located within three feet of each exterior entrance door.




  • The water heating facility shall be maintained in a safe working condition and always provide hot water at no less than 120 degrees.
  • Each habitable room shall have at least one window which is operable, in a state of good repair, glazed, and provided with suitable hardware and a screen.
  • The heating unit shall be in good working order and provide a temperature of at least 70 degrees when the outdoor temperature is 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • No cellar space or attic shall be used as a dwelling unit unless they are approved by the building department.

 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. Every bathroom and water closet compartment shall comply with the light and ventilation requirements for habitable rooms contained in the Housing code, except that no window shall be required in adequately ventilated and lighted bathrooms and water closet compartments, equipped with an approved mechanical ventilation system.
  • All plumbing fixtures required shall be free of defects and be in good working condition.


Last updated 12-17-20







  • The exterior of the structure, accessory buildings and garages shall show no signs of deterioration and the structure shall have address numbers visible from the street.
  • 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 of the structure.
  • All stairs, porches and appurtenances shall be in good condition and good repair.
  • All exterior wood surfaces of the structure and outbuildings shall be protected by paint or other appropriate coating.


Last updated 12-17-20

NOTE: This interactive Zoning Map is unofficial. Please contact Duke Wheeler, City of Niles’ Code Enforcement Officer at (330) 544-9000 Ext. 1181, or at dwheeler@thecityofniles.com for official zoning district determinations or questions about the City of Niles’ Zoning.


City Building

34 West State Street

Niles, Ohio 44446


330-544-9000 x 5480


Monday – Friday

8 AM – 4 PM

Matthew Durno

330-544-9000 x 1183
Housing Inspector