City of San Antonio Cracking Down on Building Permits

As the frequency of house flipping has increased throughout the last several years in San Antonio, the Development Services Department (DSD) has begun to crack down on homeowners and contractors doing work without a permit. DSD has developed a Strike Force team of Code Enforcement officers to target construction and remodeling projects to ensure that these updates to homes are being done with the proper permitting.

The Strike Force team has issued 929 citations to properties since the start of 2019 and is utilizing online platforms to determine if a property has had renovations. Once they have identified those properties, the Strike Force team has used aggressive strategies such as cutting off electricity and water on homes, effectively stalling the inspection, appraisal and subsequently sale of the property. In some cases, new buyers have been cited months after closing for permits not being pulled by the seller and are now held liable for any plumbing, mechanical, or electrical updates. Other sellers have encountered tremendous delays in getting the house on the market for sale or rent due to a lack of response from the city on inspections to close out building permits.

Delinquent home flipping continues to be a problem in San Antonio and SABOR will continue to encourage property owners to use a registered licensed contractor and pull the necessary building, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical permits when required. However, SABOR wants to make sure the City is not overstepping its bounds and unfairly penalizing homebuyers and sellers in the process which in turn will negatively impact the real estate market as a whole.

SABOR will be hosting Code Enforcement leadership from the City of San Antonio on Wednesday, January 8th at 9:00 AM and is open to all members to attend. Click here to register. The purpose of the meeting is to help answer questions on both the process for pulling building permits and what to do when a permit is not pulled correctly. This meeting will also be streamed online at for those who cannot attend in person the morning of. DSD also hosts Contractor Connect training courses that talk about permits, inspections, contractor expectations, and their investigation process. These are held on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at DSD Headquarters located at 1901 S Alamo from 8:30 am – 10:30 am.

For more information on the permit pulling process with the City of San Antonio, click here.

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