Single-Family Rental Inspection Program
Rental Program Effective April 1, 2012
Like many cities in the metro area, some of the rental properties in North Richland Hills neighborhoods are starting to show their wear and tear. On October 24, 2011, the City Council adopted a single-family rental ordinance designed to improve building conditions and deal with other problems that affect the quality of life in our neighborhoods. As of April 1, 2012, all single-family rentals must be inspected and issued a certificate of occupancy before they can be occupied by a tenant.
Single Family Rental Ordinance
What is considered a single-family rental unit?
A single-family rental unit is any living unit within an attached or detached one-family dwelling, duplex, tri-plex, four-plex or townhome that is rented or leased for use as a residence by a single family, individual or group of individuals.
Property owners must have their rental units successfully pass an interior/exterior inspection and obtain a Certificate of Occupancy (C.O.) before a tenant can be authorized to move into a rental unit or have the water utilities transferred to the new tenant’s name. Rental properties are expected to meet the minimum maintenance standards set forth in the City’s Code of Ordinances.
Once the unit is ready for occupancy, the landlord must request an inspection by contacting the Building Inspection Department at 817-427-6300 and providing the the relevant information (i.e. type of inspection, address, preferred inspection time, etc.). In most cases, the inspection may be scheduled for the following business day when the request is made prior to 4:00 PM of the previous day.
There is no fee for the inspection or the C.O. However, if a rental unit is occupied or belongings have been moved in prior to the inspection, a $100 administrative fee may be assessed to the property owner to defray the expense to the City for inspecting an occupied unit. The fee must be paid before the inspector can conduct a new inspection or issue a certificate of occupancy.
If no deficiencies are recorded during inspection of an unoccupied property, the inspector will leave an approval tag on the property that is valid for 60 days. The future tenant will present this tag when applying for water service. If the approval tag is lost or has expired, please call 817-427-6300 for information on obtaining a replacement.
When deficiencies are recorded, the landlord must correct the deficiencies and request a new inspection. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE LANDLORD TO CALL FOR A NEW INSPECTION WHEN ALL VIOLATIONS HAVE BEEN CORRECTED. A fee may be charged if there has not been a good faith attempt to correct all of the problems with the unit.
In some cases, when the deficiencies are found to be minor and do not affect the safety of the occupants, the landlord may request a 60 day Courtesy Certificate of Occupancy. If granted, pending repairs must be completed and inspected by the expiration date. The landlord must request a new inspection by calling the Building Inspection Department at 817-427-6300. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE LANDLORD TO CALL FOR A NEW INSPECTION WHEN ALL VIOLATIONS HAVE BEEN CORRECTED.
Please note that a C.O. may not be issued if the owner of the rental dwelling unit has unpaid fines or liens attached to the property in favor of the City of North Richland Hills. Outstanding liens can be paid at the City of North Richland Hills City Hall. To avoid the inconvenience of postponing occupancy of a rental unit, landlords should resolve all property liens in a timely manner.
Inspection Check List
An inspection check list is available that indicates many of the areas the residential building inspector will be inspecting; including unsafe structural elements, sanitation, unsafe sidewalks/driveways, accessory buildings, pools, hot tubs, spas, infestations, plumbing systems, storm drainage, combustion air, electrical hazards, smoke detectors, mechanical equipment, and security devices. A more detailed inspection checklist is available here:
Single Family Rental Inspection Check List
Single Family Rental Certificate of Occupancy Application
Texas Property Code
Property owners and management companies should become familiar with Chapter 92 of the Texas Property Code which mandates security devices and smoke alarm devices in rental property. An information page as well as an informative video and photos are provided at the following links:
Texas Property Code Chapter 92 (Text)
Texas Property Code Chapter 92 (Video)
Security Device Example Photo 1
Security Device Example Photo 2
Security Device Example Photo 3