Rental Housing Safety Inspection Deadline: July 1, 2022
To maintain compliance with the Rental Housing Safety Program, it is the responsibility of owners or managers of rental housing to conduct complete inspections of all rental units (exempting new construction within the last five years) by July 1st each year using the City of Berkeley’s RHSP Checklist (formerly Schedule A) and providing a copy of it to the tenants. Although it may seem like an inconvenient task, first and foremost, it’s the law. It is important to identify any health and safety issues, items in need of repairs, or code violations so that they can be corrected. Secondly, the RHSP Inspection affords owners the opportunity to enter occupied units to observe how their tenants are maintaining their properties. Through recent RHSPs, I was able to identify two potential fire hazards; one tenant had a network of overloaded power strips throughout the apartment and was running the “unsightly” electrical cords beneath his area rugs, while another tenant was storing books and newspapers in her oven because, “I only ever use the stove top! I never bake!” Because I had put eyes on these potential hazards, I was able to have conversations with the tenants, giving them the opportunity to remedy the issues before anything disastrous happened.
If you have not inspected a unit within the last 12 months, now is the time!
Remember to serve your tenants with no less than 24-hours of advance notice of your intent to enter for purpose of the RHSP Inspection. Afterwards, if the unit passes, share a copy of the checklist with the tenant and keep a copy for yourself. If the unit does not pass, notify the tenant and schedule repairs for as soon as possible. After the issues are resolved, remember to send them a copy of the RHSP checklist with all items marked as “passed”. Unless a tenant refuses entry or the city has requested a copy of the RHSP, you are not required to submit a copy to the city.
The RHSP Checklist is available to BPOA members in our Rental Housing Forms Library under “Rental Addenda”. If you have any RHSP-specific questions, please email email@example.com.