Housing Inspection Program

The Periodic Housing Inspection Program ensures that all residential rental properties with three or more units are safe and habitable. Through systematic inspections, this program guarantees that those who reside in rental units in San Rafael have a safe, livable space which meets the City and State codes for habitability.

How does the program work?

All residential rental properties with three or more units are inspected at least once every five years. We provide property owners a minimum of five business days advanced written notice of the date and time of the periodic inspection. Our code enforcement officials will conduct a thorough exterior and interior inspection of the property.

Should deficiencies be found, the property owner will receive written notice listing the items that do not meet the requirements of City and State codes. Ample time is then given for the needed repairs to be made and a re-inspection will be conducted to verify that the corrective work has been done. If deficiencies are not corrected in the specified time, the property may be subject to an administrative action or civil or criminal prosecution.

What are the City inspectors looking for?

We will be looking for any condition which affects the habitability of the property, including but not limited to:

  • Improper maintenance / unsanitary conditions
  • Deteriorated or defective interior walls, ceilings, floors or floor coverings
  • Deteriorated or defective exterior wall or roof coverings, wood trim or lack of weatherproofing
  • Buildings or portions that contain structural hazards
  • Broken or missing windows, window screens or foundation vent screens
  • Defective, missing or improperly installed smoke detectors
  • Lack of annual service or accessibility to required fire extinguisher
  • Lack of directory signage and/or building address/unit number as required by Fire Department
  • Lack of required light, ventilation, required ceiling height in a habitable room
  • Defective or missing light fixtures, electrical outlets, switches or exposed/unsafe electrical wiring
  • Deteriorated, leaking, missing or improperly installed plumbing faucets or fixtures
  • Verification that the name, address and telephone number of the resident caretaker is posted in a conspicuous public place on the property as per City and State code

What if I disagree that my property has a violation?

If you disagree that your property has a violation you may appeal staff's determination by submitting a citation appeal form to request a hearing. Your request must be filed within 30 days of the citation issue date.

Additional Information:

Code Enforcement Service Areas Map

Other possible violations include:

  • Any unapproved use, occupancy, addition, alteration, or improvements made without permits and/or approval from the Planning and/or Building Division
  • Lack of required heat due to missing or defective heating unit.
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