• Posted On: January 02, 2015

Rental properties are often located in clusters in neighborhoods, in large numbers in college towns or in lower income neighborhoods. Where rental properties are located should not affect the safety of dwellings in the area, but when rental inspections fall behind, that is precisely what can happen. New construction, remodeling projects and rental properties all need to be inspected to ensure that the premises meet or exceed city codes.

Inspection Checklists
There isn’t just one item to be checked, there is a full rental inspection checklist of issues which must pass inspection before an occupancy permit should be granted. Code enforcement officers typically look at things like:

  • Wiring/electrical work
  • Plumbing
  • Structural integrity
  • Pest infestation
  • Ventilation
  • Smoke detectors
  • Water heaters

There may be other code concerns as well. Each property needs to be inspected in a timely fashion and appropriate advisements need to be issued. When properties fail inspection, the process slows down even further. This can mean multiple visits to the site for the code enforcement officer. If there are too many properties and too few officers, it can be all too easy to fall behind and develop a backlog of inspections.

Finding the Right Tool to Speed Inspections
Some cities fine property owners for each violation as inducement to keep properties within code. However, when numerous properties are needing attention it can still make tremendous staffing demands.

Another strategy for breaking the rental inspections logjam is to equip code enforcement officers with technology that speeds up the process. The technology is as small as most mobile devices and can reduce the need for additional code enforcement staff positions by helping current officers to work more efficiently.

Mobile Technology
Software on pocket-sized devices is on hand for every site visit. With the device, code officers can easily access a digital rental inspection checklist, photograph problems and make reports. On subsequent visits, the code enforcement officers can quickly pull up each property’s history. With the touch of a button inspectors can open or close a property case, issue cautions, warnings or advisement to other concerned parties. Officers can even generate public notices when warranted.

Apart from being paperless, using inspection software allows instant inter-department communication and helps keep workflows in order and on schedule. Since not getting around to performing rental inspections can mean unsafe or unhealthy housing, finding ways to ease the pile up is a priority.

At Comcate we provide cities and municipalities with several tools for better management of public health and safety as well code enforcement. We have tools that can aid enforcement officers and apps for citizens to use in reporting infractions and code violations. If your community is lagging behind when it comes to performing necessary rental inspections we invite you to visit our website and check out our menu of available tools.

 

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