Inspectional Services

Aerial photo of Kendall Square

The City of Cambridge is instituting a Temporary Emergency Construction Moratorium on all construction activity on both public and private property until further notice. Read More

The Board of Zoning Appeal Public Meeting scheduled for THURSDAY – MARCH 26, 2020 has been RESCHEDULED to Thursday APRIL 23, 2020.

The Board of Zoning Appeals continued cases originally scheduled for April 16 have been re-scheduled to April 30, 2020. At that time, a public link for remote access will be posted to this site.

Other upcoming Board of Zoning Appeal meetings have also been rescheduled. New dates will be announced in the coming days.

In addition, City buildings are closed and all public hearings will be accessed remotely by the Board members, applicants and the public.

Please check back to this website regularly for more information about remote access or additional changes in schedule.

The Inspectional Services Department (ISD) is responsible for the enforcement all laws and related City ordinances that pertain to the Massachusetts State Building Code and certain articles of the State Sanitary Code.

New State law requires registration of short-term rentals and payment of State excise tax.  Learn more

Tips and FAQs

How can I view Inspectional Services records and archives?

Inspectional Services Department record room is located on the lower level at 831 Massachusetts Avenue.

Record room is open:
  • Monday - Thursday: 9:30am - Noon, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
  • Friday: 9:30am - Noon
All available records of BZA decisions; building, plumbing and electrical permits issued; plans submitted at time of application or completion of work: restaurant inspections; housing inspections; certificates of occupancy and certificates of inspection are stored in the records room.

What actions are recommended to control rodents?

  • Store garbage in metal or heavy plastic containers with tight lids.
  • Place trash outside shortly before pickup. Don't leave plastic garbage bags out overnight.
  • Remove weeds and debris near buildings. Don't give rodents a place to hide.
  • Store open food in metal or glass containers with tight lids.
  • Don't leave extra pet food out. Store it in a tight container.
  • Sweep up food remains, litter, and trash inside and outside your home.
  • Inspect your basement and house for cracks and holes; seal them with mortar.
  • Make sure you have screens on windows; inspect windows and screens for holes.
  • Keep outside doors closed; use metal trim to prevent rodents from gnawing and entering underneath.
  • Don't provide hiding places for rodents; store materials such as lumber and boxes on a rack with a clean, open area underneath. Get rid of unused materials.

When is a building permit required?

Anyone seeking to construct, alter, or demolish a structure or install a sign must first obtain a building permit from a building inspector at the Inspectional Services Department. The building permit must be obtained before the start of any work and must be prominently posted at the job site.

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