The purpose of the Rental Housing Inspection Program (RHIP) is to safeguard and preserve the housing stock of decent, safe and sanitary rental housing units within the City and to protect persons entering or residing in them by providing for a regular and comprehensive system of inspection of rental housing units and, through such inspections and/or property owner certifications, identifying and requiring the correction of substandard, uninhabitable or unsafe living conditions. The RHIP was designed to proactively inspect all residential rental properties within the City starting with properties in the CDBG (HUD) area to assure the overall quality of the rental housing unit meets the minimum standards in the Municipal and/or state Building, Housing and Health and Safety Code. This includes educating rental property owners, property managers and tenants about those requirements.
Habitability and Repairs:
A rental housing unit must be fit to live in; that is, it must be habitable. In legal terms, “habitable” means that the rental housing unit is fit for occupancy by human beings and that it substantially complies with state and local building and health codes that materially affect the tenants’ health and safety while living, sleeping, cooking, or dining.
California law makes rental property owners and tenants each responsible for certain kinds of repairs, although rental property owner are ultimately legally responsible for assuring that their rental housing units are habitable.
Rental Property owners are responsible for the following:
•Effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls, including unbroken windows and doors;
•Plumbing facilities in good working order, including hot and cold running water, and connected to a sewage disposal system;
•Gas facilities in good working order;
•Heating facilities in good working order;
•An electric system, including lighting, wiring, and equipment in good working order;
•Clean and sanitary buildings, grounds, and appurtenances (for example a garden or a detached garage), free from debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin;
•Adequate trash receptacles in good repair;
•Floors, stairways, and railings in good repair;
•Safe fire or emergency exits leading to a street or hallway which are unobstructed;
•Operable dead bolt locks on the main entry door and operable locking or security devices on windows; and
•Working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors located in certain areas.
•Keep common areas of the premises including their rental unit clean and sanitary;
•Properly dispose of all rubbish, garbage and other waste in a clean and sanitary manner;
•Properly use and operate all electrical, gas and plumbing fixtures and systems;
•Keep their rental unit from being destroyed, defaced, damaged, impaired, or allow for the removal of any part of the structure or dwelling unit or the facilities, equipment, or appurtenances. Tenants are responsible for all repairs or damages caused by the tenant, the tenant’s family, guests or pets;
•Use the premises as a place to live, sleep, cook or dine which were not respectively designed or intended to be utilized for such uses; and
•Notify the landlord and/or property manager when dead bolt locks, window locks or security devices don’t operate properly.