In 2009, the Texas Legislature abolished the Texas Residential Construction Commission, eliminating State enforcement of statewide building codes - including building codes outside cities' jurisdictions.
In its place, the Legislature approved a law that allows counties limited, permissive authority to enforce building codes in the unincorporated area. Tarrant County adopted these provisions on September 1, 2009.
Therefore, after September 1, 2009, in unincorporated areas of Tarrant County, all new residential structures and improvements to existing residential structures that increase the square footage or value by more than 50 percent shall be constructed to the International Building Code (IBC). If a city has adopted building codes in their extra-territorial jurisdiction then the municipal regulation applies there.
Tarrant County does not have inspection authority or responsibility and can not charge fees; instead the builder is required to:
1. notify the county of the location, approximate date of completion and version of IBC utilized for the new residential construction (see Notice of Residential Construction in Unincorporated Area form);
2. obtain three inspections during different phases of the construction; and
3. submit a notice of the inspections to the county and to the person for whom the new residence is being built, demonstrating compliance or non-compliance with the applicable building code, which is done by the inspectors (see Notice of Residential Construction Inspection Compliance in Unincorporated Area form).
Failure to obtain the inspections is a Class C misdemeanor and Tarrant County may also file for an injunction against a builder who does not file the required reports.
This new law does not give prior approval authority to the county for new residential construction, or authorize the adoption or enforcement of zoning regulations, and does not apply to manufactured, or modular housing constructed off-site and transported to a site. Penalties do not apply to a builder who intends to occupy the residence themselves as their primary residence.
The forms can be completed on-line. Once complete, you can print them out and mail to:
100 E. Weatherford St. Room 404
Fort Worth, Texas, 76196
Or fax a copy to Jessica Phillips at 817-884-1178.
Alternatively, you may send the form via email.
Accessibility Notice: Due to the complexity of the first linked document above, that document is made up of scanned images. If you require assistance in accessing the information therein, please contact Jessica Phillips at 817-884-1250.
County Telephone Operator 817-884-1111
Tarrant County provides the information contained in this web site as a public service. Every effort is made to ensure that information provided is correct. However, in any case where legal reliance on information contained in these pages is required, the official records of Tarrant County should be consulted. Tarrant County is not responsible for the content of, nor endorses any site which has a link from the Tarrant County web site.
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