Property Conditions

Exterior Conditions

  • All surfaces, including, frames, trim, banisters, railings, porches, overhangs, gutters, garages, window wells, casings, ledges etc. on the entire building, must have peeling paint and resultant debris removed. Surfaces should then be repainted with two (2) coats of non-lead paint or otherwise suitable cover.
  • Generally, four (4) or more steps must have a secure handrail along the full length of the steps.
  • Check for missing or insecure railings.
  • Install railings around any porch or balcony that is 30 inches or more above the ground.
  • Check that the foundation, stairs, rails, gutters, roof, porches, landings and walkways are sound and free from hazards and deterioration.
  • Check chimneys for blockage and other unsound conditions, including loose bricks, loose mortar, serious leaning and potential collapse.
  • Avoid structure deterioration by repairing exterior surfaces that allow air, water infiltration (not weather tight), substantial drafts, vermin or any other conditions.
  • Private access to the unit must be provided.
  • Look for significant entry of ground water evidenced by flooding in the basement.
  • Gutters and down spouts must be in good condition.

Utilities

  • All utilities must be on for HQS Inspections (including gas, water, electric, and/or fuel service).
  • In units where the tenant must pay for utilities, each unit must have separate metering services for measuring actual usages for utilities.

Electricity

  • Each room must have at least one (1) working outlet and one (1) permanently installed ceiling or wall light fixture or each room must have at least two (2) working outlets.
  • Missing or cracked cover plates present an electrical hazard.
  • Loose outlets present an electrical hazard.
  • Damaged outlets present an electrical hazard.
  • Electrical cords running under rugs present a potential fire hazard.
  • Fixtures must be securely mounted to a junction box and not mounted on a surface in a manner that allows for abused.
  • Any smoking or sparking outlets must be corrected immediately.
  • Non-working outlets may be hazardous.
  • Improper or loose wire connections present an electrical hazard; a lamp cord is not considered heavy enough to be part of the permanent wiring system.
  • Check for overloaded circuit evidenced by frequently blown fuses or disengaged breakers.
  • Exposed fuses on breaker box connections present an electrical hazard.
  • Ensure no knockout plates are missing.

Ceilings and Walls
Check ceilings and walls for:

  • Holes
  • Sagging
  • Un-keyed plaster
  • Defects that allow drafts, rats, mice, etc. to enter the house
  • Other hazardous structure features that could expose the tenant to the danger of structural collapse

Doors

  • Door locks must be present and securely fastened to the door.
  • Lock striker plate must work and be securely fastened to the doorframe.
  • A chain lock alone is not considered adequate security.
  • Check condition of doorframes and jambs.
  • A simple bolt lock is not considered adequate as the only lock on the door.
  • Check for weakness that will not hold the door and lock securely closed.

Windows

  • Windows should not be nailed shut if as a result air circulation decreases or it limits the ability to exit the room.
  • Window locks must be present and in good repair.
  • Look for severe deterioration or broken or missing windows, which may allow significant drafts.
  • Windows must be capable of opening and remaining open without props.
  • Units will be required to have screens on one exterior window per room, if the window is capable of being opened. The screens must be removable for exit in case of emergency.

Health and Safety

  • All units must have at least one (1) operable smoke detector on each level.
  • Units must have an acceptable alternate means of exiting the building in case of a fire. Windows are acceptable.
  • Exits that are blocked or deteriorated make them unusable as an exit.

Heating and Plumbing

  • Check for adequate heat (at least 68 degrees).
  • Check for fire hazards or escaping exhaust gases from the heating system.
  • Gas leak or fumes are to be considered an emergency and must be corrected immediately.
  • Chimney clean out cap should be properly fitted, free of deterioration, accessible for inspection and free of debris.
  • Adequate ventilation and cooling by means of windows or a working cooling system.
  • Heating equipment should not expose the tenant to abnormally high levels of harmful gases or other noxious pollutants.
  • The water heater must be equipped with both a temperature-pressure relief valve and discharge line down to approximately 4-6 inches from the floor.
  • The water heater location should not present any hazards.
  • The water heater should not have corroded or leak onto the floor.

Sinks, Showers and Tubs

  • Unit must be connected to a system that will deliver hot and cold running water.
  • Unit must be connected to a drain with a “gas trap.”
  • Connectors, vents or traps that are faulty to the extent that severe leakage of water or escape of sewer gases is occurring must be replaced.
  • Clogged drains must be cleared.
  • Faucet, knobs or handles that are stripped or missing must be replaced.
  • The tub, sink etc. should be re-caulking as needed.
  • Check for other defects, broken toilet seats and seriously cracked or damaged surfaces.

Floors

  • Floors must be free from tripping hazards, structural hazards or any other hazardous features, including ingress of vermin.

Stove

  • Top burners should be present and working.
  • An oven must be present and working.
  • Door handles must not be detached or missing.
  • Check for hazardous gas hookup evidenced by strong gas smell.
  • Check electrical connections for any defects or hazardous features, exposed wires, damaged cords or broken/cracked covers.

Refrigerator

  • The refrigerator must be adequate in size relative to the needs of the family.
  • Missing or deteriorated parts, such as handles broken, damaged seals, seriously cracked linings, missing kick plates, or exposed sharp edges or wires, should be replaced.
  • Should be capable of maintaining a temperature low enough to keep food from spoiling over a reasonable period of time.

Interior lead paint

All surfaces, including, frames, trim, banisters, railings, porches, overhangs, gutters, garages, window wells, casings, ledges etc. on the entire building, must have peeling paint and resultant debris removed. Surfaces should then be repainted with two (2) coats of non-lead paint or otherwise suitable cover. Go to the U.S. EPA site for more information on lead-based paint. For a brief overview of lead hazards view the EPA pamphlet Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home (PDF).

Owners will be required to remove and/or repair defective paint surfaces. An extension may be granted as a severe weather-related item. This does not apply to units where CMHA must visually test for defective paint surfaces due to the age of the structure (prior to 1978) and with prospective occupants of the unit whose age is less than 6 years. In these cases, CMHA will follow HUD regulations.

Lead-based Paint Testing
CMHA will reimburse landlords up to $150 for lead dust wipe tests. Please email inspections@cmhanet.com if you have questions on filing a reimbursement claim. You may fax reimbursement requests to (614) 421-8037. Please include the contractor’s invoice. Remember to follow safe work practices when repairing defective paint surfaces. Go to the U.S. EPA site for more information on lead-based paint. For a brief overview of lead hazards view the EPA pamphlet “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home”.

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