Rental Inspection

PURPOSE OF THE RENTAL INSPECTION PROGRAM

· To maintain safe, decent and sanitary living conditions for tenants and neighboring residents  (Code of VA)

· Reduce/Prevent blight

· Stabilize neighborhoods

· To build resident pride in their neighborhoods

· To improve the impression of the City to outside visitors, and potential future residents

· To foster community and economic development

· Help maintain the real estate value in the City

WHERE CAN MORE INFORMATION BE FOUND ABOUT THE RENTAL INSPECTION PROGRAM?

The Rental Inspection Program can be found in the Hopewell City Code of Ordinances, Section 19-182.  To locate the designated Rental Inspection Program zones map. To locate the City of Hopewell Zones (map).

WHAT HAPPENS?

The property owner or manager of a residential rental unit located in a designated Rental Inspection zone is required to contact the City of Hopewell’s Rental Inspector to schedule an inspection. The Rental Inspector will conduct the inspection and if the initial inspection reveals no code violations, a Certificate of Compliance is issued. The certificate is valid for four years. Inspections during that time would only result from a complaint. Violations during the four year compliance period may result in the revocation of the Certificate of Compliance.

To find the Hopewell Rental Inspection Program Checklist.

A Temporary Certificate of Compliance Is issued where code violation are found that do not pose a health or safety hazard to an occupant. Tenant occupancy of a dwelling is permitted for a time period reasonably necessary to correct code violations.

The re-inspection will follow the same process until the property meets minimum standards.

If after the re-inspection minor violations have not been remedied, the property owner/manager will be charged an additional fee of $100.00 per inspection.

If after the re-inspection major violations have not been remedied, the property owner/manager will be subject to a penalty of a minimum of $500.00 and up to $2,500.

Minor Violations- Violations that do not endanger the life or health of the tenants. Examples: • Leaky roof • Leaky plumbing • Non-working appliances • Broken windows or doors • Damaged siding, etc.  

Major Violations- Violations that affect the immediate health or safety of the tenants or the public. Examples: Non-working toilets or sewer blockages • Faulty electrical wiring • Failing heating system, etc.

PREPARING FOR THE INSPECTION

1. Scheduling the Inspection

 The property owner or manager is required to schedule the inspection with the Rental Inspector and provide notice to the tenant. 

2. Preparing the Home

Property owners/managers can make any needed repairs before the inspection. This will reduce the number of inspections. A general Inspection list is available on the city website.

3. Providing Access to the Home

The property owner or manager must be present for the inspection. Tenants are encouraged to be present during inspections. 

4. Tenant Preparation

· Tenants should inform property owners/managers of any issues with the unit before an inspection.

· Rental Inspectors need access to all rooms. Please secure pets during the inspection.

· On the day of inspection, clear any pathways that could prevent the Rental Inspector from entering all areas of the rental unit.

· Put away any personal items you do not want the inspector to see.

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Equal Housing Opportunity logpoUnaddressed violation complaints can be made anytime to The Department of Code Enforcement. To schedule an inspection, call (804) 541-2226.

For more information on Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Rights, visit the following websites:  

https://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/sites/default/files/Docx/landlord-tenant/landlord-tenant-handbook-final.pdf

https://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/landlord-tenant-resources

https://www.dpor.virginia.gov/FairHousing 

Downloadable Forms