Does the City inspect rental houses or apartments?
Yes. This a brand new program in Rowlett, but not a new one around the Metroplex, state, or country. The City of Rowlett has adopted an ordinance establishing minimum standards of housing for rental properties. This will be for all apartments, duplexes, and single family homes (including individually owned and rented condos and townhomes).
What is the purpose of the rental housing program?
Rowlett is getting older and also continues to grow. There are some areas of Rowlett that are showing signs of aging, wear & tear, not to mention that the City has amazing citizens, we want to ensure that the citizens that occupy rental properties are afforded a quality and safe place for them and their families.
Do the rental properties have to be inspected each year or what?
Single family homes will be inspected when tenants change or upon complaint request by a tenant. Multi-family properties will be inspected annually or upon complaint request.
How does an inspection work?
Inspections for single family homes and duplexes will be conducted when the homes are empty/unoccupied- change in occupancy. For properties with variable or short-term leases, the inspections will occur once within each 12 month period, unless requested by the owner/agent. Once an inspection has been completed, the inspection report and result will be emailed to the owner/agent/inspector/and utility billing. When the new tenant arrives to establish utility service, the inspection report is already at the office and move-in will not be hampered.
Multi-family complexes will receive an annual inspection consisting of 100% exterior of all buildings on the property and 5% interiors. The City will inspect at least 1 occupied unit with Property Management obtaining PRIOR permission.
All tenants may request a complaint inspection. The City will respond to complaints as they are received. Staff typically respond within 48 hours for most items. Life Safety concerns are immediate, during business hours. Please note: Tenants are expected to follow the complaint/request reporting procedures contained within the lease. The City is NOT a tenant’s first call nor is the City a means of retaliation against an owner/manager. Please call the City when requests have not been addressed within a reasonable time frame. As always, City staff are here to serve our citizens. If you have a need, please do not hesitate to contact staff.
Is there a license/registration and fee for the program?
All single-family and duplex homes are required to be registered annually and multi-family complexes are required to be licensed annually. Single family registration fees are $50 per year and multi-family is $12/unit/year. Forms are available on the Rental Housing web page or at the Community Development Office located at 3901 Main St. Rowlett, TX 75088. Forms may be mailed in or brought in person. There is no "online" option at this time.
Are all apartments and rental properties “bad?”
Not at all. As a matter of fact, one would say most of the properties are not bad and assume the same for owners and landlords. BUT, the fact remains that there are those tenants that are not afforded a safe and quality home. They often endure periods with no hot water, no smoke detectors, no heat or cooled air, etc. and requests for repair go unanswered.
Is there some sort of code explaining the requirements for rental homes and apartments?
The city has adopted the International Property Maintenance Code as a baseline set of minimum standards. The inspection forms for both single-family and multi-family properties will be on the Rental Housing web page.
Is the International Property Maintenance Code just for rental properties?
No. The property maintenance code will serve as the maintenance code for the exterior of all residential and commercial properties, rental or not. Code Enforcement will use the same codes for non-rental properties.
Who do I contact if I have a complaint?
To report a complaint concerning a rental residence, please call Environmental Health at 972 412 6125 option #9 or email
Will the program delay tenants being able to move in? What about getting utilities turned on?
The answer is NO, unless there is a life-safety issue needing repair prior to occupancy. Staff is taking every effort to ensure that the flow of business is not interrupted or that tenants are not hampered from moving in. Staff will do everything possible to accommodate inspection schedules, but, it is expected that property agents/owners will also do their part to notify staff of the need for an inspection too.
Getting utilities turned on is NOT tied specifically to the rental inspection program, as the requirement for executed closing documents or lease agreement has existed for years prior. But, an inspection is required prior to move-in (single-family only) and utility service connection.
When does the program start?
The initial phase of the program will be a soft roll-out. This means that from Oct. 2- Dec. 31 the City will be working on registrations and complaint response only. On January 2, 2018, the inspection portion of the program will begin. For single family houses and duplexes, this is for change in tenant only. For multi-family, this is the addition of routine annual inspections of both interior and exterior.