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Multifamily Rental Property – Houston inspection Registration

February 20, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Here below is a link to the list of multifamily properties which are on the list of the City of Houston, Dept. of Habitability. ( In the order which they are to be inspected )


 

There are approx 5,600 property addresses on the list. Those properties at the top of the list get inspected first and today (Feb 2011) the inspectors are at approximately number 600.

They started in Jan 2011. They hired some additionaly inspectors, but that is about 50 properties per month which may increase to 70 per month.

At this rate, they are inspecting about 800 properties per year.

The means by which the order of inspection is determined is prioritized by

First  priority are those properties that did not register.

Second – properties which do not have occupancy permits

Thirdly – properties which have known code violations.

 I have noticed that several properties are being inspected sooner than expected, even though they have high numbers at the bottom of the list. I have no explanation.

The person I spoke with at the Dept. of Habitability did not know of any monetary fines for not registering a property as was required by Jan 2010, however ,this does not mean they have may begin to enforce the legislated monetary fines (listed below) in the future.

(If we use an example of  a 4 plex worth worth $200,000 and loan balance of $160,000, the equity would be $40,000.

A fine of  minimum fine of $500 per day for 80 days would eliminate the owner’s entire equity and might initiate the owner just walking away from the property without making further mortgage payments.

Is it possible that this State of Texas legislated fine is NOT constitutional? 

 

Multi-Family Rental Building List (8/10/2010)  Click here – now available.

Using an updated Adobe Reader, there is a “Find” feature at the top  in the tool bar to type a term such as either the street “Number” or street “name”.  Then you can click to “Find” the next if there is more than one property with that number.

Here below is text from the registration site at  Houston Multifamily.org

Please notice the link below to the Habitability Inspection Checklist

Registration Website. This website will allow Multi Family Rental Properties with 3 or more units to register with the City of Houston as required by Ordinance No. 2009-1043  (Habitability Ordinance) and Ordinance 2006-1124 (Apartment Security Ordinance). 

Apartment Security Registration
All apartment communities of ten or more units (Sec 28-282 City of Houston Code of Ordinances) are required to register the ownership of the apartment community with the Multi-family Administrative Unit of the Houston Police Department. Registration requirements are as follows.

  1. Registration must be completed within 120 days of the passage of the ordinance (passage date November 8, 2006) or by March 8, 2007.
  2. An owner of a newly constructed apartment community must register within 30 days of completion of construction.
  3. Registration information is to be updated within 30 days of sale of the property or any change relating to the owner’s designated agent.
  4. The failure of an owner to register property may result in the issuance of criminal citations carrying a minimum of $500.00 and a potential maximum fine of $2000.00 a day for each day of non-compliance. (Sec 28 – 291)

Habitability Registration
All apartment communities with 3 or more units (Sec 10-151 of the Houston Code of Ordinances) are required to register with The City of Houston for Habitability Inspection purposes ( Habitability Inspection Checklist ). The registration requirements are as follows:

  1. Registration for properties in existence prior to January 1, 2010, must be completed between December 1, 2009, and January 31, 2010.
  2. For properties not in existence on January 1, 2010, owners must complete registration no later than 30 days after receipt of the Certificate of Occupancy.
  3. No later than 30 days after an owner knows or reasonably should know that a statement on the Registration Form was incomplete or inaccurate when filed, or has become incomplete or inaccurate since filed, the owner must complete and file an amended Registration Form.
  4. An owner who violates, or whose property is in violation of, any provision of the Habitability Ordinance (Section 10-151 of the Houston Code of Ordinances) article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable upon conviction by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $2,000. Each violation, and each day that a violation continues, shall constitute and be punishable as a separate offense.

Those properties with 10 or more units which have previously been registered as required by the Apartment Security Ordinance must amend the registration with additional information to meet the requirements of the Habitability Ordinance. Previously registered properties may go directly to Section 8, Habitability, and enter the requested data. You will be asked to review and approve all entries when completed. Properties that have not yet registered must complete all fields to comply with the Habitability registration requirement.

It is suggested that the preparer of the registration form, have access to the following documents to assist in the completion of the registration.

  1. City of Houston Occupancy Permits or Life Safety Appendix Compliance Certificate issued to property (one for each building)
  2. The Property Tax Account Number for the applicable taxing authority
  3. The year the property was built
  4. Name, address, phone and email address for the following:
    1. Registered Agent (where applicable)
    2. Owner
    3. Manager and Management Company (where applicable)

 To Register go to Houston Multifamily.org

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  1. February 25, 2011 at 2:17 pm

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