KCHA inspects your home when you move in and, generally, once a year after that. This allows us to ensure that the home stays safe and livable. Before the inspection, KCHA suggests that you walk through your home with your landlord. Make note of any broken or damaged items so that your landlord can fix them. Pay attention to these areas:
- Entry doors: All doors must lock securely. Door jambs and strike plates must work properly. Make sure your landlord covers gaps that let in air with weather stripping.
- Windows: Panes must not be broken or cracked. Windows designed to open must open and have a permanent lock attached. KCHA will not accept sticks or thumb screws as locks.
- Electricity: The unit cannot have electrical hazards. All outlets and switches must have intact cover plates secured to the wall. Wiring cannot be exposed. All light fixtures must work and mount to the wall or ceiling. Breaker boxes cannot have exposed wires. Make sure your landlord fills all open spaces with knockouts or blank spacers.
- Oven and range: Clean the oven and range so that they are not a fire hazard. Burners must lay flat. All elements must work properly. Attach all knobs and dials to the appliances. Make sure your landlord installs filter screens in front of fans.
- Refrigerator: The rubber gasket around the door must be intact and fit snugly. Secure the kick plate at the base of the refrigerator.
- Heating and plumbing: The heating system must provide adequate heat. Clear heat sources of all items, such as furniture, bedding, and clothes. Plumbing fixtures (e.g., sinks, toilets, showers) must not leak. Your landlord must have any oil, gas, or propane furnace serviced at least once every two years. KCHA requires your landlord to verify this service.
- Hot water heater: Heaters must have a pressure release valve. The discharge line must extend to within six inches of the floor. Discharge tubing must be galvanized steel, copper, or CPVC (not PVC). Wires cannot be exposed. (Ask your landlord to check all of these items.) Also make sure not store flammable material near the tank.
- Flooring: Floors must not have dry rot (often found in the bathroom around the bathtub and toilet). Carpet must not be frayed or torn. Make sure your landlord repairs or replaces vinyl, tile, or linoleum that poses a tripping hazard. They should also cover exposed carpet tacks and repair loose thresholds.
- Smoke detectors: Each floor of the unit must have a smoke detector with a tester button. If you are hearing-impaired, your landlord must mount a smoke alarm designed for the hearing-impaired in your bedroom.
- Ventilation: Bathrooms must have an operating fan or other ventilation source (e.g., a window).
- Decks, railings, and steps: Stairways with four or more steps require a handrail. The rail must be securely supported and run the length of the stairway. Decks, railings, and steps must not have dry rot or tripping hazards. Decks, steps, or porches more than 30 inches from the ground require railings.
- Paint: Units built before 1978 cannot have peeling or deteriorated paint inside or outside if you live with a child under age six. Learn more about KCHA's lead-based paint regulations.
- Infestation: A qualified extermination firm must inspect the unit if KCHA cannot find the extent of an infestation. The firm must also treat the infestation, if necessary.
KCHA will stop making payments to the landlord if your home does not pass the inspection. Payments will not start again until the landlord fixes all items in need of repair.