The Checklist That Prepares DC Rental Owners for Inspections

by Tianna Mañón

The Checklist That Prepares DC Rental Owners for Inspections: Figure 1

A few weeks ago, UrbanTurf received an email from a reader wondering what the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs looks for when it inspects rental units around the city, so we decided to find out.

There are about 16 items that are inspected and each receives a grad of pass or fail. A printout version can be accessed here, and the list is also published below:

  • Are there hardwired smoke detectors in the vicinity of sleeping areas?
  • Does unit meet space requirements for occupancy?
  • Does ceiling height meet minimum requirements in all habitable spaces?
  • Does unit meet light and ventilation requirements?
  • Are all exit doors readily openable without the need for keys, special knowledge or effort?
  • Are walls, ceilings, doors and windows free of peeling paint, cracks and holes?
  • Are windows & doors (including hardware) in good repair & weather tight?
  • Are sleeping rooms free from gas meters and fuel burning appliances?
  • Do all sleeping rooms have adequate emergency escape and rescue openings?
  • Are floors, steps and walking surfaces sound and reasonably level?
  • Are electrical outlets, switches and fixtures in good repair and working properly?
  • Are the required number of electrical receptacles and light fixtures present?
  • Does dwelling unit contain the required plumbing fixtures in good repair?
  • Is the heating system operational and in good repair?
  • Is the water heating equipment operational and in good repair?
  • Are all appliances installed properly and maintained in safe and good working condition?
  • Is fire extinguisher placed properly in the condominium building?

DCRA reaches out to a property owner or manager to schedule the inspection after that owner has gone through earlier steps to make the unit legal. If tenants are living in the rental unit when it is inspected, the owner is required to have them fill out a consent form authorizing the inspection.

After the inspection, if any violations were noted, the owner or manager must rectify them in order for the unit to get a passing grade. There is a follow-up re-inspection to ensure the unit is up to code and the repairs or changes made.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/rental_inspection_preparation/10285

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