The City performs a comprehensive property maintenance inspection of exterior property, the premises, the plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems, fire and life safety aspects, fundamental light, ventilation and occupant needs, and general sanitation.
The most common deficiencies identified during the Property Maintenance Inspections include:
- SMOKE DETECTORS: Smoke detectors are required on every level of the home, within 10 ft. of sleeping areas and inside each sleeping area. All detectors must operate when under a test. Some homes, based on age, may have “interconnected” detectors. These detectors are connected together (hard-wired) and will sound an alarm throughout when activated. Older homes may not have this wiring. If the home is equipped with interconnected detectors, they must function properly. If they do not initiate an alarm throughout when the test button is pushed, consult a qualified electrician.
- CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS: Carbon Monoxide detectors are required within 10 ft. of all sleeping areas if the home has any type of fossil fuel burning appliance or an attached garage. The units can be battery operated, plug-in type or combination smoke/carbon type. There is no height requirement for mounting purposes; consult the manufacturer’s specifications. The detector will have a test button, which is readily accessible that will be used to test the device to ensure proper operation.
- FIRE SEPARATION: A solid wood door (i.e. no hollow core, 6-panel, or glass-paned doors) between an attached garage and a living area. There shall be no missing or damaged dry wall between an attached garage and living area.
- INOPERABLE/MISSING GFCI OUTLET: Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters or “GFCI outlets” are required in unfinished basements, kitchens, garages, exterior areas of the homes, bathrooms, protecting Jacuzzi tubs and pools, and within 6 ft. of the leading edge of a sink.
- GFCI PROTECTION AT SWIMMING POOLS/HOT TUBS: All 15 and 20 amp, 120/240 volt pool pump motors must have GFCI protection. Underwater luminaires must also have GFCI protection if operating at more than the low voltage contact limit.
- WIRE COVERAGE/PROTECTION OF WIRES: 120/240 volt wiring located in the “zone” from the spot on the floor that you are standing on to 7 ft. in height must be protected by covering with at least ½” thick drywall. These include wires in garages, basements and other typically unfinished areas.
- ELECTRIC SERVICE DROPS: The lowest point on any feeder line that runs from the main power lines to a structure shall be at least 10 ft. above the surface below it.
- HEATING UNITS AND WATER HEATERS: Vent pipes must be free of deterioration, blockages or separation of connections. Each connection must have three fasteners (generally self-tapping sheet metal screws). Evidence of decay or rusting may indicate improper draft. Vent pipes shall not be too close to combustibles. There must be sufficient combustion air in furnace room (e.g. 50 cubic feet of room volume required per 1000 BTUH of input to all fuel-burning appliances). Water heater relief valves shall not be mounted too far from the tank, drain tubes must be provided, and such tubes must not be reduced in diameter, too short, too long or have its discharge end threaded.
- WINDOWS/SCREENS: Windows must be in good repair and be weather tight. Glazing must be free from cracks and holes. Windows must be easily openable and capable of holding in any raised position without assistance. Every door, window, and other outside opening used for ventilation of habitable rooms, kitchens or food storage areas must have tightly fitting insect screens. Screens may not have tears or holes large enough to permit entry of insects.
- FUSE/CIRCUIT BREAKER PANEL: There may not be any unused openings in the panel. There shall not be any unlabeled circuits. Except for circuits dedicated to appliances requiring higher amps, no circuits may rate more than 20 amps. Panels must have a 30-inch minimum working space in front and a width of not less than the width of the panel from the panel to 36 inches from the panel. There shall not be more than one wire per terminal (i.e. no “double-lugging”). There shall be no openings in the electrical service panel cover, which would allow accidental contact with live electric terminals.
- EXTERIOR/FOUNDATION/STRUCTURAL/UNSAFE CONDITIONS: Maintenance of the exterior of the home and its surrounding area is required. This includes removal/repair of rotten structural wood members, foundation failure, any structural issues, as well as broken guardrails, steps, or walkways that create a hazard or are unusable. Exterior components such as, but not limited to roofing, siding, all other protective treatments, decks, awnings, signs, rain gutters, chimneys, fences, and accessory structures shall be installed as designed and in working order. Exterior property and premises must be clean, safe and in a sanitary condition. This includes maintaining the premises and structures to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water, rodent infestations, etc.
- MISSING HANDRAILS/RAILINGS: Handrails are required along exterior or interior stairs with more than four risers or railings along porch landings 30 inches or more above grade.
- MISSING/INCORRECT PLACEMENT OR TYPE OF STREET NUMBERS: In order for emergency responders to find a specific location quickly, street address numbers must be digits and not words (i.e. “1933” not “nineteen thirty-three”). They must be located on the dwelling, fastened with screws or nails (no stick on numbers), and be a contrasting color to their background (i.e. dark numerals on light siding or light numerals on dark siding or brick). Street numbers shall not be brass, gold, silver, bare aluminum, or copper.