• Posted On: September 08, 2015

The Importance of Routine Building Inspections

As a government official you are keenly aware of the importance of routine building inspections for the rental properties in your city. An uncertain building inspection process can mean that safety and health measures go unmet. That creates hazards for tenants and even for the neighborhood and community at large.

One city in Ohio has recently seen the hazards that can happen when routine inspections are not occurring. The fallout there from a lack of scheduled building inspections is a red flag to other communities that staying on top of building code enforcement needs to be a priority. The Ohio community has experienced a surge in registered rental properties such that they did not have enough code enforcement officers to meet demand. So, city managers simply let rental property owners be responsible – and unaccountable – for property maintenance. That approach has resulted in an uproar from renters and a decidedly unfavorable response from homeowners in the neighborhoods.

Aesthetic problems such as accumulated trash, un-mowed lawns and shabby home exteriors decrease area property values, something that is of major concern to homeowners living around the rental properties. However there have been even more serious results from a non-existent building inspection plan. Renters have called city offices to complain about windows that don’t lock, dead animals in air vents, a lack of fire detectors and, in some cases, insufficient bathroom facilities. City spokesmen reported that code enforcement officers found that citizen complaints were about 90 percent accurate and 10 percent a matter of disagreement between renter and landlord.

Certainly, bad renters can contribute to property decline. Landlords may be reluctant to invest in building improvements or even some forms of maintenance when tenants are careless with the property. But the Ohio community story shows that when cities fall behind in rental property inspections, health, safety and property values can suffer.

At Comcate, we understand about the competing demands of city management. We’ve been behind the desk and understand the tensions. That’s why we’ve created a host of software products especially for local government, to help you do more with the people you already have in place. When there’s not enough money for more code officers to perform building inspection, you need a way to enable the officers you have to accomplish more in a day. We invite you to check out our building inspection software and see how having better tools can help you and your staff do a better job of keeping citizens safe, healthy and even happy.

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