Rental Housing Safety Program
About the Program
In 2019, the Modesto City Council passed Ordinance 3703, creating a citywide Rental Housing Safety Program. If you own a residential rental housing unit that you rent out, you are responsible for ensuring that your units meet housing safety standards.
How to Register Your Rental Property
All residential rental properties are required to be registered with the City of Modesto. Owners are required to update their registration whenever there is a change of ownership or contact information. You can register your property online by submitting the form below, or you may fill out and mail in the printable PDF form.
There are no fees to register a rental property. Failure to register your rental property may result in penalties.
City of Modesto Periodic Audit Inspections
This program also requires that all residential rental housing units undergo periodic inspections to ensure proper maintenance and to prevent situations that could adversely affect the quality of life in the City. To accomplish this, the ordinance requires an annual audit of up to ten (10) percent of the rental housing units.
Property owners will be notified by the City of Modesto Building Safety Division by mail if their rental unit has been selected for an audit inspection. Upon completion of the Audit inspection, a $100 inspection fee per unit to be inspected will be invoiced. A unit shall not pass inspection until the fee is paid to the City of Modesto.
Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, familial status (presence of children), age, or physical disability. If a housing provider discriminates against someone based on any of these factors, that person has the right to seek help.
If you feel you have experienced housing discrimination, there are resources available to you:
- Project Sentinel: 209-236-1577
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): 800-347-3739
- California Department of Fair Employment and Housing: 800-884-1684
- California Department of Consumer Affairs: 800-952-5210
- Handbook California Tenants - A Guide to Residential Tenants' and Landlords' Rights and Responsibilities
- What is the Purpose of the Rental Housing Safety Program?
The Rental Housing Safety Program was created to safeguard and preserve the housing stock of decent, safe and sanitary residential rental units within the city of Modesto by providing for a regular and comprehensive system of safety inspections.
- If the notice was received by an individual who does not own a rental property, what should the individual do?
Please call 209-577-5232 or email City staff so that records can be updated.
- What should rental property owners or property managers do first?
Complete the registration process
- Is there a fee to register?
No. There is no registration fee. However, nonresponsive rental properties will be added by the City to the registry as noncompliant properties and owners will be subject to applicable fines.
- How is registration completed?
Online registration is encouraged. Blank registration forms are also available in the Program Documents section above and hardcopies can be requested by calling 209-577-5232. Basic information on the owner and/or local contact representative is recorded, as well as information related to rental units associated with the rental property. Owners or their representatives will need to inspect their units and certify that units meet the minimum requirements.
- How is Self-Certification completed?
Online self-certification is encouraged. Blank registration forms are also available in the Program Documents section above and hardcopies can be requested by calling 209-577-5232.
- What is a local contact representative?
A local contact representative is either the property owner or the designated representative or property manager who has full authority to act on behalf of the property owner. The contact person must be a local contact in order for City notices to be personally served, if necessary.
- Besides registering, what should the property owner do to prepare for the safety inspection?
The property owner can prepare for a safety inspection by ensuring that all rental units are compliant with applicable codes and standards. Housing units should meet minimum health and safety standards as required by the State of California and be safe to occupy.
- What is included in the health and safety inspection?
A sample health and safety inspection checklist is available in the Program Documents section above. The City’s rental safety inspection is intended to ensure that rental housing units meet minimum health and safety standards as required by the State of California and are safe to occupy.
- Does the property owner need to contact the City of Modesto to schedule the safety inspection?
No, the City will contact property owners by mail at least two (2) weeks prior to the scheduled inspection.
- Does the property owner need to be present for the inspections?
No. The property owner, tenant, or their listed local contact representative must be present.
- What is the fee for the safety inspection?
The current fees is $100 per unit.
- Who is responsible for the payment of inspection fees and penalties?
The fees are the responsibility of the property owner.
- Will all units be inspected?
For multi-family and single-family rental properties of more than one unit, a percentage of units shall be randomly selected for inspection.
- Can corrections be made during the inspection?
Yes. During the inspection, immediate repairs to correct any violation noted in the course of the inspection may be made. If all necessary repairs are made during the inspection, and all City fees are paid in full, the unit(s) will pass inspection.
- Can the owner provide photographic evidence or other proof that a violation has been corrected without incurring additional inspections and inspection fees?
Yes. For repairs made no later than 30 days after the Baseline Inspection, a Proof of Correction form may be completed online. It will be reviewed by an inspector and evaluated for compliance. There is no charge for this service.
- What is the Self-Certification Program?
Self-Certification is a program by which Property Owners can certify that their rental units meet the required standards.
- How can the public determine if a rental property has completed the registration process?
Call 209-577-5232 to request a certificate of compliance for a unit.