Tour the Location Before You Rent or Lease
Was the living area converted from a
garage or attic? Most garages, attics, sheds and basements do not meet safety codes.
Ceilings must be a minimum height
of 7.5 feet. If the room has a sloping ceiling, one half of the room must be
taller than 7.5 feet.
Ventilation must be provided either
by windows or by a mechanical system.
Is heating provided? The heating
system must be able to maintain a room temperature of 70 degrees. Portable heaters do
not meet this requirement. Before using gas appliances, have the gas company check them
Water heaters must not be located in
bathrooms or in any room which is used for sleeping.
Does it appear that the dwelling unit
has been properly maintained? Look for exposed wiring, tacked-on extension cords or
overloaded outlets. Inspect for charring around outlets, fixtures or appliance vents.
Smoke detectors must be installed.
Donít miss signs of obvious
disrepair such as broken windows, warped or loose floor boards or stairs.
Do overcrowded conditions exist at
the residence? You may be forced to move out if overcrowded conditions violate zoning or
If you rent or lease a home in the
R-1 or R-2 zones, certain standards apply. The standards include number of bathrooms,
parking requirements and square footage per person. A permit is required if over five
adults occupy the residence.
Does the dwelling provide a direct
exit to outside or to a corridor? Bedrooms must have at least one window that is large
enough (six square feet for an adult to easily crawl through in case of emergency.
All apartments must have a door to
the outside that is at least 3 feet wide.
Is there sufficient parking provided
off the street? Parking in front yards, on lawns or other yard areas is not allowed. A
residence in the R-1 zone is required to provide at least one covered parking space.
Substandard housing conditions should
be reported to the Cityís Community Development Department at (805) 781-7172.
Your Safety Comes First
The City enforces Zoning Regulations
and Building Safety Codes. But this doesnít prevent illegal construction or
conversions from occurring. By renting or leasing a residence that does not comply with
safety codes, you may be living in an unsafe environment. Though the landlord or owner
is at fault for breaking safety codes, you may be forced to move for safety reasons
should the city determine that living conditions are unsafe.
This checklist provides you with
useful criteria for evaluating the safety of a residence. Consider these conditions
before renting or leasing. If you have any questions about this checklist, contact the
Community Development Department of the City of San Luis Obispo.
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