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Residential Rental Inspection Program

Pre-inspection Checklist

The purpose of this checklist is to assist property owners in preparing the building for the inspection by Department of Neighborhood Services Inspectors. By surveying your property for the items listed on this checklist prior to the inspection and taking the necessary corrective action you can avoid receiving many of the typical orders received on residential property. Additionally, this will allow you to mitigate disqualifying violations that will prevent you from receiving a 4 year rental certificate. As you utilize this checklist, if there are questions feel free to contact the Department at (414) 286-2268. We will be glad to assist you on any questions that you may have.


1. Cracked or broken chimney cap

2. Defective flue liner

3. Missing or defective mortar or bricks


1. Defective or missing roofing material

2. Deteriorated flashing or valleys

3. Deteriorated built-in gutters

4. Defective or missing gutters or downspouts

5. Defective awnings or canopies

Note: Rolled roofing may not be installed over any existing roofing material except rolled roofing.


1. Missing or defective siding

2. Defective trim, fascia or eave boards

3. Peeling paint

4. Missing or defective address numbers


1. Defective or missing mortar

2. Defective or missing bricks or blocks

3. Cracks or bows in foundation walls

4. Foundation not watertight or water damaged


1. Defective or missing boards in porch floors, skirting, trim or ceilings

2. Defective or missing step treads, risers or stringers

3. Defective or missing handrails, balusters or guardrails

4. Defective porch supports


a. Handrails are required on all stairs of more than 3 risers including service walks.

b. Handrails are required on both sides of open stairs of more than 3 risers.

c. Handrails must be between 30 and 34 inches above the nosing of the step tread.

d. Replacement handrails (accept those on service walks) and guardrails require balusters that prevent the passage of an object greater than 4 inches in diameter.

e. Guardrails must be 36 inches in height for residential property and 42 inches for Commercial property.

WINDOWS & DOORS (exterior & interior)

1. Doors and windows not weathertight

2. Defective window sashes

3. Inoperable windows or doors

4. Missing or defective window panes

5. Missing or defective storm windows or screens

6. Missing or defective door or window trim, sills or casings

7. Missing or defective door or window hardware (locks, latches, doorknobs, hinges etc.)

8. Peeling paint on windows or doors

9. Self closing doors not operating properly


a. All dwelling unit doors require deadbolts.

b. All rental units require storm windows and screens.

c. All windows require locking devices.

d. All wooden double hung windows within 10 feet of grade require a venting device that allows the window to be locked in an open position between 4 and 6 inches and is removable to allow the window to be fully opened.


1. Defective service walk steps – broken concrete

2. Defective service walk – cracked or missing concrete

3. Trip hazards

4. Defective paved areas or parking slab

5. Free of snow & ice


1. Defective walls or siding

2. Defective roofing material

3. Defective trim, fascia or eave boards

4. Defective windows

5. Defective or inoperable doors

6. Peeling paint

7. Missing alley side house numbers


1. Condition of yard, outdoor storage and sanitation

2. Soil erosion and landscaping

3. Defective fences

4. Defective retaining walls

5. Defective paint on fences or retaining walls

6. Accumulation of rubbish and/or garbage

7. Overgrown weed, grass, trees or bushes

8. Exterior storage



1. Working smoke detectors properly installed

2. CO detectors property installed and operational (Starting April 2010)

3. Defective or missing required fire alarm systems

4. All hallways, exits, stairways, doorways, elevators, accessible routes, etc. free of

blockages, trash/litter and clutter

5. All required exit lights are properly installed and operational

6. All hallways, stairways, entrances are properly illuminated

7. Apartment entry doors not properly numbered

8. Defective or missing emergency lighting

9. All required door hardware is properly installed and operational

10. All required fire doors are intact with latches or hardware in good working order

11. All required fire extinguishers have been properly serviced and are properly located and installed

12. Insect, mice or rat infestation

13. Evidence of overcrowding


1. Defective or missing handrails, balusters or guardrails

2. Defective or missing step treads, risers or stringers

3. Defective or missing boards in porch floors, skirting, trim or ceilings.

4. Defective or loose stairway floor coverings

5. Defective stairway supports


1. Walls and ceilings not structurally sound

2. Defective plaster, drywall, or other surface materials

3. Defective paint


1. All floors are structurally sound

2. All floor coverings are intact and do not create a trip hazard

3. Floor coverings in kitchens and bathrooms are intact and impervious to water


1. Defective sinks, faucets, toilets, showers, tubs, etc.

2. Defective water heaters, laundry sinks, laundry hookups, hose faucets, etc.

3. Defective or missing drains, drain piping and vent piping

4. Inadequate water pressure, improperly connected water lines, missing water lines, or water leaks

5. Missing backflow protection

6. Defective or illegal or unsafe gas piping

7. Illegal plumbing installations


1. Light fixtures are working with intact covers/shades

2. Electrical receptacles and switches are functioning and in a good state of repair

3. Exterior entrances lights are installed and operational

4. Service panels are intact and have proper working clearance

5. Defective, illegal or open wiring

6. Illegal use of extension cords

7. Illegal electrical installations


1. Defective furnace or boiler

2. Defective vent piping for gas, oil or solid fuel burning appliances

3. Illegal wiring or installation of equipment

4. Illegal gas piping or plumping hookups


1. Basement being used as sleeping area without an authorizing occupancy permit

2. Chimney and appliance connecting flues in good condition

3. Improper storage around furnace, boiler, and/or water heater

4. Defective basement floor

5. Defective foundation walls

6. Reasonably free of dampness

7. Illegal construction, electrical, or plumbing in basement

8. Lack of proper exits


1. Attic being used as sleeping area without an authorizing occupancy permit

2. Chimney and appliance flues in good condition

3. Defective attic floor

4. Improper storage, clutter, or debris

5. Illegal construction, electrical, or plumbing in attic

6. Water or moisture intrusion

7. Lack of proper exits





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