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Housing and Community Services

Posted on: August 30, 2019

Santa Rosa Takes Steps to Develop Rental Inspection Program

Apartment building

The Department of Housing and Community Services is developing a proposed Rental Inspection Program to present to City Council at a study session on September 24, 2019. The study session will provide an opportunity for staff to seek further direction from Council on development of the proposed program. The program aims to ensure that Santa Rosa renters are living in safe, decent and sanitary housing by proactively inspecting rental properties every five years and asking owners and tenants to mutually certify the property’s condition on an annual basis.

According to the US Census completed in 2015, Santa Rosa has an estimated 67,396 housing units and 53.5% are owner occupied and about 47% of the housing stock are rentals. Some of the key components of a new Rental Inspection Program would be mandatory registration of all rental properties, an educational and outreach program modeled after the Neighborhood Revitalization Program, and an inspection program using the California Health and Safety Code inspection standards. There would be a mandatory inspection of all rental units in multi-family housing developments completed once every five years, and a self-certification allowed after unit passes initial inspection. Single family units will be allowed to self-certify at the start of the program, and 20% of units will be randomly checked once within the 5-year span. Self-certification must be completed by both landlord and tenant. If complaints are received in a unit that is self-certified, the unit will be removed from the self-certification process. 

Any unit built within the past 5 years would also be exempt from the inspection program. Any unit that is inspected by federal, state or local government is being considered for the exemption. Mobile Home Parks, Board and Care facilities and hotels and motels that do not have rentals would all be exempt from the program. Fees would be paid by the property owner for registration and inspection.

More information will be available at the City Council Study Session on September 24, 2019.

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