As someone whose rented apartments his whole life I was surprised to see the "love note" tacked on my door from my landlord talking about how my apartment will be inspected by the City of Davenport. After doing a little research on what the City is looking for, and having lived in many apartments, I'm glad the City cares about such things.

I've lived in apartments that have had roach problems. Windows that let the heat, cold and dust in. Even a place where I couldn't run the air conditioning and the microwave at the same time without tripping a breaker. Aside from deciding to move there isn't a lot one can do, especially in the middle of a lease. Don't get me wrong, I've lived in great places too. One land lord I had believed "leases are made to be broken." Another had my back with a troublesome tenant. However, none of these places were ever inspected by the city or town I was living in.

Davenport hopes to achieve a few things by inspecting apartments. According to the "Landlord's Guide to Rental Property Management" the City hopes to keep deterioration of properties to a minimum, so a property will not cost a landlord a significant amount to repair and rehab. Second, properties that don't meet health and safety standards are taken off the market resulting in fairer competition for property owners. And finally, they want people to rent in Davenport over other area cities and towns.

When the City of Davenport shows up to inspect a rental property, here's some of the things they're looking for:

  • Lighting. Is lighting in public hallways,landings, stairways acceptable. Is there lighting in each room? Natural light in each room of an apartment?
  • Bathroom. Is there a working vent, or a window that can be opened?
  • Doors and Windows. Are they tightly sealed from the elements? Working properly? Any broken window panes?
  • Electrical. Is the system working properly? Installed properly? Any abuse of extension cords, etc.
  • Exterior. Is the building painted properly? Any brick or exterior problems? Are gutters and downspouts being properly maintained? Is the roof in good condition?
  • Fire alarms/Fire extinguishers. Are fire alarms and fire extinguishers being properly maintained and inspected? Smoke alarms?

The City also looks at interior painting, plastering and makes sure screens are free from holes and deterioration. The inspector will also look for evidence of a rodent or bug problem, and make sure the apartments inhabitants aren't creating sanitation problems like not cleaning or letting garbage or animal feces pile up. If you want a more detailed list on what the inspection covers click here. I for one think more cities should do this, it might create a more attractive place to live.