Katie Whaley, Coordinator

Rental Housing Inspection Program

253-856-5550

Process

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Inspections Required:

The inspection cycle will begin in April with a formal notice to rental property owners located in the inspection area. Landlords must submit proof of passed inspection by January 1st, in order to renew their multi-family business license.

Step 1: Hire an inspector and schedule an inspection date

  • Choose a qualified inspector from our list of available private inspectors.

Inspectors List_updated_10March2020

  • Re-inspections required as a result of a failed inspection must utilize the same inspector as the initial inspection.
  • Inspections will be conducted at the owner's expense.  
  • The City does not determine the fee charged by private inspectors nor the cost of repairs, but the inspectors offer a wide range of prices and our checklist is available to help with preparation and budgeting.  

Step 2: Unit Selection 

20 percent of the total number of units will be selected for inspection. The specific units will be randomly selected by the City.  

After hiring a qualified inspector, please e-mail the RHIP coordinator at least 1 week prior to the scheduled inspection date to have the units randomly selected for inspection. 

The e-mail shall include the following information: 

  • Name of inspector 
  • Scheduled date of inspection 
  • Total number of units 
  • Unit numbering sequence (A1-10, B1-20) 
  • Point of contact's name, phone number, and e-mail address

The property owner and hired inspector will receive a reply from the RHIP coordinator with the list of units and buildings to be inspected at least 72 hours prior to the inspection date. 

Step 3: Notification of Tenants

Properties within an inspection year are required to notify ALL TENANTS that some units will be inspected and tenants whose units need repairs or maintenance should send written notice to the landlord as provided in RCW 59.18.070. The notice must also advise tenants that if the landlord fails to adequately respond to the request for repairs or maintenance, the tenants may contact City of Kent officials. A copy of the notice must be provided to the inspector upon request on the day of inspection. You may prepare your notices using this template.

Once you have scheduled an inspection, you must give your tenants a minimum of 48 hours’ notice of inspection per state law (RCW 59.18.150 (6). You may prepare your notices using this template.   

Step 4: Inspection Day

The RHIP inspector will arrive at the property and inspect the exterior of each building, associated common areas and the interior of each selected unit. 

The RHIP inspector will conduct the inspection using the City of Kent's checklist and take pictures of each deficiency that they identify. 

Checklist 

Step 5: Submit inspection checklist via online system 

Online submission of inspection documents is required. A $15 per address submission fee will be charged at the time of submission. 

Passing the Inspection:

  • Sign the checklist (property owner and inspector) 
  • The results are reviewed by the RHIP Coordinator 
  • Certificate of Compliance is issued. 

Failing the Inspection: 

  • Sign the checklist (property owner and inspector) 
  • The results are reviewed for completion and compliance with building code standards enforced at the time of construction. 
  • Notice of Deficiency letter is e-mailed to the property's point of contact, providing a list of required repairs. 

For more information on how compliance is determined click here. 

Step 6: Permit Determination Email (if deficient)

Send an email with your Notice of Deficiency attached to permitcenter@kentwa.gov. The Permit Center will route your email to a Building Plans Examiner who will review the Notice of Deficiency to determine what repairs require permits, and provide information on required steps to obtain a permit. 

If it is determined that a permit is not required, submit the email to the RHIP coordinator at RHIP@kentwa.gov. 

Step 7: Repair Deficiencies 

Obtain required permits and make the required repairs within 30 days of receiving the Notice of Deficiency. 

Step 8: Re-inspection 

  • Schedule a re-inspection with the inspector. 
  • Inspector re-inspects each identified deficiency that is listed on the Notice of Deficiency. 
  • Provide required proof of repair documents to the inspector to submit to RHIP coordinator, including:
  • Permit determination email
  • Permit numbers, if required 
  • Receipts of repairs 
  • Inspector closes out each deficiency in the online system and submits photos of all repairs made (one repair picture for each deficiency identified).
  • Report is reviewed by RHIP coordinator. 
  • Certificate of Compliance is issued.