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City Mulls Changing Inspection Frequencies of Rental Properties in College Park

At tonight’s Council meeting, the City  Council will discuss reducing the frequency of interior inspections on some rental units in the City.

Since 1965 the City has been conducting annual interior inspections of all residential rental units and commercial properties as part of the occupancy permit process required by the City Code (Chapter 144-6-A).With the number of new properties in the City, it is difficult for code enforcement to perform the required interior inspections and also enforce exterior property maintenance throughout the City.

Staff find the most hazards and code violations in single-family home rentals. Staff’s opinion is that single-family homes, townhouses, individually owned condominium units and small apartment rental properties pose the greatest risk to health and safety.

As of April 2017, there are 1,336 permitted single-family, individually owned condominium, and townhouse residential units in the city. There are 3,875, apartment units, 1,057 hotel rooms, and 447 commercial properties with permits.Additionally, there are 15 fraternity and sorority houses and 10 rooming houses.

Staff is suggesting going to biennial inspections of the living spaces at “modern” apartment structures and hotels and continuing annual inspections of common public spaces at these locations, and annual review of their third-party inspection of sprinkler systems, fire and smoke alarms, elevators and other system maintenance items.Staff is recommending continuing annual interior inspections of single-family homes, townhouses, individually owned condominium units and small apartment rental properties.

Staff estimates that up to 450 hours could be reallocated from an interior to exterior inspections by reducing the inspection frequency of modern apartment structures and hotels.

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