- Posted On: January 30, 2015
California often serves as a proving ground for ideas and innovations that move across the country over time. One California community provides a great example of how and why rental inspections are an important part of maintaining community standards.
A Case in Point
San Luis Obispo (SLO) is a lovely seaside college town. It is also home to many renters. In fact, the number of rental properties in SLO (62 percent) outpaces the number of privately owned residences. The charming community attracts more renters than the state average (43 percent), this makes managing rental properties a great concern to the community at large.
The city council recently voted to implement a formal rental inspection program to ensure that these properties are kept well-maintained and up to code. Keeping a close eye on rental properties helps the city preserve its appeal and outward attractiveness but, more importantly, protects the safety and welfare of the renting community.
Safety and Aesthetics Both Matter
Aesthetics are also an important issue to monitor in rental properties. Area residents have complained to city officials about sofas perched on the rooftops of rental properties and cars left sitting on front lawns. The derelict optics spell disaster for the property values of those who do own and live in their SLO home.
Expanding the Role of Code Enforcement Officers
At present, the city conducts inspections only on multi-unit rental properties. These inspections are performed by the local Fire Station and focus mostly on fire safety checks (alarms, sprinklers etc.) inside the buildings. The proposed inspection program will become the responsibility of the current code enforcement branch of city government and inspections will include both exterior and interior checks.
It isn’t only quaint seaside villages that need to protect community standards and community safety, of course. Your community may be home to a large number of rental properties as well. College towns, towns which host low-income housing and communities where home ownership is out of financial reach all wind up with the issue of how to properly uphold city aesthetics and protect citizen safety.
Technology Can Increase Productivity
Tasking the code enforcement officers with the responsibility of thorough rental inspections is a great way to ensure safety and attractiveness, but it can also place a great burden on city staff. That is why communities from one side of the nation to the other are turning to software solutions that facilitate many municipal functions – like inspections.
At Comcate, we offer code enforcement solutions, including a customizable solution just for rental inspectors. Our mobile technology will make every code enforcement officer more productive and efficient. Heightened efficiency means you need to hire fewer staff positions and citizens experience improved performance. We have testimonials from city managers coast to coast who have found that the answer to meeting community needs was a matter of using the proper tools.
Check out our website and contact us to find out how we can provide you with the tools you need to satisfy the demands you face as a community official. Helping improve communities is behind everything we do.