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Is your rental unit in compliance?

The Facts About Rental Housing Compliance...

What are the city’s regulations regarding rental housing?

All rental property within the city limits of Columbia must have a current Certificate of Compliance. Rental regulations apply to all dwellings that are rented including apartment houses, rooming houses, two family dwellings or single family dwelling units.Owners must apply for a Certificate of Compliance  by submitting an application for their rental property. An application consists of the completed form, the proper fees and a HVAC certification form. The application forms and instructions can be found on our website.

How many people can live in a rental unit?

Columbia’s zoning ordinances dictate how many people may live in a rental unit.  In R-1 zoning, no more than three people not related by blood or marriage may live together. In all other zoning districts, not more than four unrelated persons may live together. If you need clarification on what the zoning is for a property or the rules related to zoning, please contact our office.

What do city inspectors look for when reviewing rental property?

All rental property must meet the minimum property standards of the "International Property Maintenance Code" that has been adopted by the City of Columbia. Inspectors look for a wide range of details at each property, both exterior and interior. The purpose of the inspection is to make sure that those renting their homes have a safe and maintained place to live.

What can the city do if a rental unit has violations?

If violations are found at the time of an inspection the owner of the property is issued a correction or notice of violation. This notice describes the needed repairs and gives a deadline date for making the corrections to the building or grounds. While voluntary compliance is in the best interest of all parties, the City of Columbia can file charges in municipal court for violations of City ordinances. Each day that a violation continues is a separate offense.

I’m a renter… how do I know the unit I live in or am considering renting is in compliance with city code?

Ask your landlord to see the Certificate of Compliance. You may contact the Office of Neighborhood Services in person, by phone, or by e-mail. Our staff can provide you with compliance information on any rental property in the city limits.

Information Provided By: The City of Columbia Office of Neighborhood Services