September 16, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
57°F
test

What tenants should know about their rentals

LORAIN — Thousands of renters in Lorain may be living in uncertified or unsafe houses and should know their rights when dealing with landlords.
Renters should contact the building department if there any concerns over the safety of their residence, said Lorain Safety Service Director Mike Kobylka.
Kobylka said the tenant has no financial obligation to pay for an inspection and the landlord is responsible for having the property inspected for safety. Every house is required to have working smoke detectors
supplied by the owner of the property.
The Lorain Fire Department has a program in conjunction with the Red Cross where residents can request free smoke detectors. However, due to a large demand, the fire department will not have smoke detectors available until September, fire Capt. Tom Sultzer said. Landlords who do not comply with an inspection order face fines of up to $1,000 and six months in jail, said William Desvari, chief building official for Lorain.
If you suspect that your rental property is not certified or is unsafe, call the Lorain Building Department at (440) 204-2045.
Contact Ben Norris at 329-7119 or bnorris@chroniclet.com

Where do you need smoke detectors?
* One in every sleeping room
* One within 15 feet of every sleeping room
* One on every level of home, including basement
* One within a few feet of electrical boxes
* One carbon dioxide detector near electrical boxes

How do you know if your house is safe?
* Test your smoke detectors.
* Call your landlord and ask if he or she has requested an inspection with the local building department.
* Contact your local building department and ask if your landlord’s house is certified; make sure you have the landlord’s first and last name handy.
* It is your landlord’s financial obligation to have a home inspected
* If landlord does not comply, contact your city’s building department personally and it will send notice to the landlord.
* Many dangers cannot be discovered with the naked eye, so houses should always be inspected by a professional.