• Posted On: February 27, 2015

Blighted neighborhoods rarely start out that way. It’s generally a slow decline that starts with one property and spreads to others until it earns the title of “blighted.” Keeping landlords in check is one way to fight the blight. City and county government officials that find the right software to help them manage rental inspection workflows are the ones winning the fight.

Some cities, like La Vista, NE, started an aggressive housing inspection program on rentals that were the root of a problem in several communities. Landlords weren’t pleased with all the work involved when inspectors found issues, but it was necessary. The city bumped up inspections to more than 1,000 in 2012. Unfortunately, they were unable to keep up that pace. By 2013, less than 50 inspections on rentals were carried out.

The pressure on city inspectors is understandably high. There is rarely enough money in a city’s budget to staff enough personnel, which means a handful are doing the work that is meant for many. There are other issues to cover where workflow is concerned, and it’s not only affecting La Vista – it happens in many communities across the country.

When inspectors go into the field, they are often taking with them workflow processes that are outdated in this age of mobile technology. Instead of having a tablet computer aiding them through the inspection process and allowing them to make quick and easy notes or check off items as the inspection ensues, they are instead carrying a paper file with them and having to enter the information in reports back at the office at a later time.

Instead of filing a report electronically, which is then automatically forwarded to the appropriate personnel, these inspectors are filing manual reports that have to be pushed down the line through a number of channels until it lands on the right desk.

Many inspectors rely on historical information about properties as they approach their work. Instead of being able to pull up all the information they need on their tablet computer while they’re in the field, many are digging through boxes in the file vault for the information they need.

Rental properties aren’t the only areas where inspectors have issues with their workflow process. Remodeling projects also require their expertise. New construction is also an area that takes a good amount of time to inspect, especially when using old work processes. This can be a point of contention between the government and the community because most business owners looking to build new are at the mercy of the inspector’s schedule, which can significantly delay the construction process and eat into profits down the line because the business opens later than expected.

Comcate knows about the points of contention with community members who want to see a better fight against blight, business owners who want to see their business open sooner, and home owners who want to get their remodeling project completed without hassles. Our permitting and inspections solution uses automated processes that save governments time and money. Contact us today for more information.

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