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Planning Building and Code Enforcement
San Jose Home
Preparing for Inspection
What can I do to prepare? 
  • Give tenants reasonable notice of at least 72 hours before the inspection.
  • Buy batteries for battery operated smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices. Bring them to the inspection so that they can be installed immediately. Also make sure that the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms meets State of California's installation requirements.
  • Review the list of common violations and make any needed repairs before the inspection.
  • Ensure that permits were obtained and finaled by using the online search. The Building Division has a list of projects that do not require permits.

General Premises
  • Blight remove any discarded household items, rubbish, trash, debris, tires, wood, broken concrete, metal, furniture that is not designed for outdoor use
  • Landscaping – no bare dirt areas in the park strip and front yard, trim any overgrown vegetation, eliminate weeds and maintain the decorative materials and live plants in good condition
  • Graffiti tags should be removed promptly
  • Exterior paint should be in good condition, not peeling
  • Remove any abandoned or inoperable vehicles
  • Garbage bins and garbage containers - no overflow, no storage in the street, no open lids
  • Vent screens must be secure and no missing vent screens
  • Downspouts that are loose, deteriorated, missing or disconnected must be repaired 
  • Exterior walls must be maintained in good condition without any holes, missing sections or deterioration
  • Stairway, landing, treads and risers must be in good condition without wood rot, missing sections or deterioration
  • Guardrails and handrails must be well secured, must not be loose or deteriorated
  • Crawlspace cover must be proper fitting to seal space
  • Existing screens on windows and door must be intact, no rips or holes
  • Fire extinguishers must be recharged and date tagged annually
  • Exterior lighting must function and have proper covers
  • Off-street parking must be maintained; do not covert parking spaces into storage space.
  • Infestation roaches and rodents must be eliminated using an exterminator
  • Roof and ceilings must be maintained in good condition without any leaks
  • Electrical and gas meters must be properly protected
  • Electrical panel cover is required
  • Existing laundry rooms must be kept clean, a metal can with a tight-fitting lid should be provided for lint, and the washers and dryers must function properly
  • Exterior walkways must be kept clear encroachments near air conditioners, plants and other storage are prohibited
  • BBQs – propane tanks over 1 pound may not be used or stored within 10 feet of combustible material.  Charcoal and LP gas grills are banned from use on apartment balconies.

Interior Checklist
  • Water heaters must contain minimal seismic strapping, proper drain lines, venting, etc. The installation or change-out of any water heater requires a finaled plumbing permit.
  • Entry doors and door jams have strike plates that are secure
  • Sliding glass door tracks must be free of dust, dirt and debris  
  • Strike plates on doors and door jambs must be present and secure, not loose
  • No more than one security lock can be installed at the entry door.
  • Double- keyed locks must be replaced with standard deadbolt. 
  • Baseboards must be secured, not loose
  • Ceilings and walls must be maintained in good condition without any deteriorating, holes, peeling paint, buckling or mildew
  • Heaters installed with finaled permit and properly functioning
  • No spliced wiring on electrical fixtures or appliances
  • Windows must be open easily and not be blocked by furniture or air conditioners.
  • Window tracks must be clean and function properly.
  • Kitchen stove burners, oven, and exhaust fans must be clean and function properly. Gas burners must ignite without the use of a match.
  • Kitchen exhaust fan, filters, backsplash and walls surrounding the stove areas must be kept clean; no grease.
  • Kitchen counters and sink surfaces must be smooth and in good condition, not cracked, chipped or missing pieces
  • Floor coverings in the kitchen and bathroom must be a smooth, washable surface maintained in good condition
  • Plumbing must be properly installed and maintained in good condition without any leaks or clogs and must provide sufficient hot water at a minimum 120 degrees
  • Sufficient bathroom ventilation from a window or exhaust fan
  • Mold growth must be removed from all surfaces
  • Thermostat must function properly and a cover is required 
  • Smoke detectors must be operable and located on each floor, in hallways leading to rooms used for sleeping purposes and also in each bedroom as required by Code
  • Carbon monoxide detectors must be located outside each sleeping area and on each level of a dwelling (including basements). Installation must be per manufacturers instructions and California Building Code.
  • Electrical outlets, switches and cover plates must be installed properly and maintained in good condition.
  • All 3-prong electrical outlets must be properly grounded. If they are not grounded, then they must be replaced with 2-prong or GFCI protected outlets that are labeled no equipment ground.

Be aware of the types of projects that require Planning approval

  • Adding access gates is generally prohibited. Vehicular and pedestrian access gates are only allowed when strict criteria are met.
  • Carport dividers and carport conversions: While tenants may like the privacy that dividers provide, there may not be enough space to meet the standards for required distances for parking spaces.
  • Deck, balcony or stair repairs or replacement: Even if the repair or replacement is “like for like,” the work needs planning approval.
  • Garage doors: Whether new or replacements, these require planning approval.
  • Laundry facilities, new or replacements, require planning approval.
  • Storage sheds: A planning review is needed to ensure that required common area space is maintained.