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Housing: Building Inspector and Needed Repairs in the Property You Rent

Quick Facts


The local building inspector is obligated to enforce the state building and local minimum housing codes.

If serious defects in your rental unit make it unsafe or
unhealthy, and your landlord fails or refuses to report them,
then you may have to request an inspection by the building


Contact the building inspector for the area where you live. When you request an inspection, prepare a list of the defects in your unit. Make sure that you inform the inspector of any problems that are affecting or may affect the health and safety of your family. The building inspector should tell you when he or she is coming to do the inspection.

You or someone you trust should be present when the inspector visits. Note the name of the inspector. Take pictures of the areas the inspector cites as defective during his inspection.

The building inspector will not address minor problems or cosmetic defects such as torn carpets and dirty walls.

Clean the house before the inspection. If the inspector testifies in court, he may be asked about your housekeeping.

You should point out the problems or defects to the inspector. You should not discuss your relationship with your landlord to the inspector. For example, it is not relevant if you owe rent to the landlord.

Keep copies of all the documents that you receive from the inspector for your records.

Ask for a Report of the Inspection.


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Last Review and Update: Aug 12, 2014
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