In February of this year, Baltimore County, Maryland mandated that all rental properties, comprised of 1-6 units, must be registered with the county. This registration includes an inspection that must be done by a licensed inspector (we all have to be licensed in Maryland now anyway). The inspection is not a full home inspection, but a checklist of several safety issues that we must check for. things like smoke detectors being hardwired and interconnected, second means of egress in sleeping locations, all plumbing works, etc. Basically, we are being code enforcement to help ensure the safety of tennants.
So the law was passed in February, and they registration process is supposed to be completed by July 1. Now, with less than a month to go before the deadline and potential fines to the landlord, there is a mad rush for these folks to get their inspections. Since it is a short inspection (usually around 30 minutes), it is hard to charge much (I would say around $125-$175), but this has been a great extra source of income while the housing market is slow. Not to mention, they have to go through this registration process every three years, so that means repeat customers. I am hoping that sourrounding counties and Baltimore city follow suit to provide an addition boost to our business in this area.
Are there any other area's of the country that have this same type of registration for rental property. I think it is a good idea, and not just because I benefit from it. The biggest problem is, it is a pass/fail type of inspection and the home owners are not happy with you if you don't pass their property and we expect to get paid regardless. Anyone have good or bad experiences with this type of inspection program?
sll inspectors should be making a push with local lawmakers in your area to institute this type of registration for rental properties!