New Landlord Rules for Single Family Rentals

Managing Real Estate Broker with Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions"

It was a only a matter of time before cities started creating "Landlord" rules for minimum standards for single family rental property.

Rental Inspections Requirements for Single Family Homes

Grand Rapids Michigan has just passed a inspection requirement on single family rental properties.

This was directly caused by the investors that did minimal clean up and repairs and started renting properties that were not safe or functional in many cases.



We can look at the market of foreclosure homes that created a depressed below market price and greed to snap up as many of these homes as possible.  Making the investment the priority instead of the quality of the home after the investment.

From years of investing I can tell you maintenance is one of the first drains on your capital.  Fixing requiresappropriate licensed service providers or inspections after the repair.  In many cases none of these issues were done.  The property owner fixed electrical, plumbing, roofing and other required repairs to get the property rentable.  Today we may start seeing a new sell off in the single family rental market because of the rental market.  As of July 1, 2012 the new inspection requirement will go into effect.  

Here is an article link Single Family Rental Housing Inspection.  Multi-family inspection requirements were already in place.

Being a member of the RPOA, (Rental Property Owners Association) this inspection requirement was not a Rental Property Investment Costs www.FlexitRealty.comsurprise.  The RPOA worked with city to help protect landlords during the drafting of the bill for inspections of single family homes.  Small investors will find it as a very big deal while the pros already know what to expect and how to handle the new inspection requirements.  Most larger Investors have a blend of multi-family and single family homes.  I have stayed away from single family with the exception of resale as a rent to own option.

This is also part of a revenue generator in difficult budget times.  It isn't being presented that way but face facts.  Permits will generate more inspections and fines.

It does have a couple hidden issues.  For the renter this should help provide more consistent living environment.  It may also increase rents or low profits for the landlord because of increased costs to meet code demands.  Depending on the market, property location and demand.


Thinking of selling your Rental Property.  Find out how your can attract investors with a "Flexible Real Estate Selling Option" Plan.

Gary L White Assoc. Broker www.FlexitRealty.comCall: 616-784-2360




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Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hi Michelle, being selective and doing right by both tenant and property owners makes everyone smile!  Thanks for the comments Michelle.

Oct 26, 2011 10:03 AM #19
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hi David and Richie, Big Brother is moving futher into our lives everyday.  Some issues a simply safety others are revenue and others are just plan invasion of privacy.  Thanks for your comments.

Oct 26, 2011 10:06 AM #20
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hi Gita, hope all is well.  This is a bit excessive to inspect a property at the time of each rental.  It seems that manpower would be a problem to accomplish the inspection task without considering any other issue.  Does the property have to remain vacant until the inspect is completed?  Thanks for the comments Gita.

Oct 26, 2011 10:09 AM #21
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hi Carl, I am sure there will be some greased palms to help the permit slide through.  Thanks for your comments Carl.

Oct 26, 2011 10:10 AM #22
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hi Dave thanks for your comments.  I do quite a few homes with hompath loans now.  A nice product.  

Oct 26, 2011 10:11 AM #23
Goran Utvic
606 Homes LLC | Chicagoland Brokers Inc, Chicago IL 60656 - Chicago, IL
We Buy & Sell Chicago Houses Fast

makes perfect sense...make it even harder to sell a home than it already is!

Oct 26, 2011 04:46 PM #24
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Some communities around here are doing similiar things.  The idea is to keep property values up by not letting rentals become too trashy.

Oct 27, 2011 04:40 AM #25
Jennifer Chiongbian
Specializing in all types of Manhattan apts & townhouses - Manhattan, NY
Real Estate Broker - NYC

I am glad they have something like this to protect renters.  Here in Manhattan, the landlords are not the nicest epople when it comes to having to maintain a rental property because it costs so much money; but they charge you and arm and a leg!  It's only fair!

Oct 27, 2011 04:50 AM #26
Steve Facella
ReMax Prestige - Lake Worth, FL

My city, Lake Worth, Florida, has had a inspection requirement/rental license for many years now. I think it is great. The trouble is getting the landlords to apply for the license.

The city got smart and wouldn't turn on utilities for people if their name wasn't the same as the owner of a property. This worked for a while but if the landlord includes utilities then the city might not know that the home was being rented. You know how it is. the shady among us will find a way to beat the system.


Oct 27, 2011 05:03 AM #27
Sue Carrell
Sue Carrell & Associates - Santa Rosa, CA
Santa Rosa Property Manager

Hi Gary,

I am a preperty manager in Santa Rosa, CA. We are in fear and trembling that financially starved cities like ours will try to impose these kind of inspection requirements to generate more money. That is the bottomline in all of this. The fact is, the Civil Code demands habitability standards before properties can be offered for rent. I make these standards clear to every owner before I take the listing to rent their property. If they are unwilling to meet the standards, well then I suppose such a City Inspection would protect the tenant...but the fact is, if the tenant is not happy, he can not rent, or if he is injured due to deferred maintenance issues, he can sue. We don't need another inspection on the checklist! I hope Santa Rosa does not read this article!

Oct 27, 2011 06:03 AM #28
Jayson Holland - Denver, CO
Jay Holland

This is just another revenue stream for the government. Requiring a license (fee) and then having the ability to impose fines is another government invasion into our lives and more importantly our wallets.

Are there THAT many sub-standard houses out there that are being rented?? Where?

Here in Colorado the market is different and we dont need additional government control. Although our rental demand is at the highest level it has ever been, we still have a lot of rental inventory, so the tenant has choices in the location/condition of property when selecting a rental.

If the property isnt "up to par" they can (and will) go rent somewhere else. The landlords know that they have to put out a good product to the rental market, or it wont get selected.

The MARKET is correcting any problem here, and imposing licensing requirements and fines is just another way for the government fat cats to pad their pockets and pay for their bloated budgets.



Oct 27, 2011 06:04 AM #29
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Regardless of financial consideration, a tenant should have a space that is free from health and safety hazards. Regulations should require landlords to provide minimum health and safety standards.

Oct 27, 2011 06:07 AM #30
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

I didn't think of that revenue generating aspect of it but that's correct. You can call it anything you want but it's additonal income to the village. I think these inspections are really a bunch of hooey.

Oct 27, 2011 06:29 AM #31
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


I can see the value of this inspection for slum lords.  But most of us landlords who keep our units in good condition.  We do not let problems go unattended.  I hope that does not come to our city.  I can understand why cities would require the inspection. I am sure it is a great revenue generator.

Oct 27, 2011 06:52 AM #32
Kate Akerly
Kaminsky Group - Manhattan Beach, CA
Manhattan Beach Residential Sales

In New York we have something called the Warranty of Habitability that applies to any landlord/tenant relationship (including co-ops).  Thanks for the update.

Oct 27, 2011 09:55 AM #33
Brian Rugg
Rugg Realty LLC Sun City Texas 512-966-3200 - Georgetown, TX
Sun City TX Real Estate - Georgetown, TX Real Est

Hello Gary:


I wish it weren't so. The market should be allowed to take care of this, not another layer of bureaucracy, another tax, and another hoop to jump through.

Oct 27, 2011 10:14 AM #34
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Gary,

Most cities around here do the same. The inspectors look for functional smoke detectors, covers on electrical outlets, well-maintained decks and other issues that may lead to harm or accidents. Most of my clients pass with flying colors. Some have to get a new battery for the smoke detector, but that is about it. Having a nicer home leads to a better rental experience for both landlord & tenant. Do not understand slum lords, who enjoy kicking out drug cookers & such.

Oct 27, 2011 03:13 PM #35
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Gary,  Great post.  As a new investor I really appreciate the info.

Oct 27, 2011 11:12 PM #36
Roshan Quigley
Weichert Realtors - Manalapan/Marlboro, NJ - Manalapan, NJ

In our area a CCO (Cert of Continued Occupancy) is required for all landlords.  Plus for the tenant they know they are moving into a home that has been inspected by the town for all code inforcements.  However it takes 2-3 weeks before the inspector can come out and if the home fails the seller has to schedule a reinspection which can delay the tenant taking possession.

Oct 28, 2011 06:06 AM #37
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

No inspection required in my area, yet. It will be another cost factor to include in the rent.

Oct 11, 2012 02:29 AM #38
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