We administer and enforce building, housing, health, sanitation, and safety regulations mandated by City and State governments. We are made up of five regulatory divisions whose aim is to protect and improve the quality of life for all Boston residents. Our mission is to serve the public by protecting the health, safety, and environmental stability of Boston's business and residential communities. Learn more about our work.
Take Advantage OF our online portal
The online option saves you time — you can apply online and even print out your permit when it has been approved by us. Right now, you can apply for some of our permits online, but the list will continue to grow over time.
Zoning Board of Appeal
We inspect and review buildings for zoning compliance. The board regulates the rules behind what you can build and where you can build in Boston.Zoning Board information Related information:
Inspecting housing in Boston
Learn about the Housing Division at Inspectional Services, and what we do for Boston residents.
When you need a rental inspection
We inspect rental properties to make sure they meet state housing codes.
How to register a rental property
If you own a rental property, you must register it with the City each year.
How to apply for the Five-Year Inspection Plan
If you have a good record as a property owner in Boston, you may qualify for the plan.
How to request an administrative hearing
You can ask for a hearing if you get a violation on your property.
Short-term rentals in the City of Boston are subject to new regulations starting on January 1, 2019.
Housing Division contacts
We have emails and phone numbers for Housing Division contacts.
Meeting the housing code in Boston
All homes must meet the State Sanitary Code. Learn more about the regulations.
Learn more about our workHealth, food, and environment
The Health Division enforces food and sanitary laws for Boston Inspectional Services. Learn about our team approach to protecting public health.
We keep Boston free of pests and rodents.
We protect consumers when they buy products sold by weight or volume.
BOS:311 service requestsService requests
Forms and documentsDocuments
- Aberdeen Architectural Conservation District (designated in 200).
- Back Bay Architectural District (Established in 1966 and expanded in 1974, 1979, and 1981)
- Bay State Road/Back Bay West Architectural Conservation District (designated in 1979)
- Bay Village Historic District (designated in 1983)
- Beacon Hill Architectural District (established in 1955, and expanded in 1958 and 1963)
- Fort Point Channel Landmark District (designated in 2009)
- Mission Hill Triangle Architectural Conservation District (designated in 1985)
- South End Landmark District (designated in 1983)
- St. Botolph Architectural Conservation District (designated in 1981)
Are you a contractor and subcontractor performing home improvement work on an existing one- to four-unit residential property in Massachusetts? You must register for the Home Improvement Contractor Registration as the following:
- an Individual
- a limited liability company (LLC)
- a limited liability partnership (LLP), and
- a corporation.
- Home Improvement Contractors (HIC) Guide
- First-time registrations
- Renew your HIC Registration (online account only)
- Change your registered address
- Request a duplicate or supplemental (additional) card
- Renew your HIC registration (by mail or in-person)
- Change your Doing Business As (DBA)
- Register as a Foreign Corporation