Even though Buffalo has recently been seeing a record number of new housing developments, there are still a large number of rental units that are considered substandard. Due to this, the Buffalo Common Council and City of Buffalo Department of Permits and Inspections are embarking on a new initiative to help improve housing quality in the city.

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The City of Buffalo has started to require all non-owner occupied 1 and 2 unit properties to be registered as a rental property and be inspected annually by the Department of Permits and Inspections. This applies to all units whether they are occupied or vacant, and owners will be required to maintain an Annual Certificate of Rental Compliance.

Rental units within the Buffalo city limits have needed to be registered since 2004, however, this new inspection requirement is new. It started this past summer is designed to ensure that apartments are safe, habitable, and meet all of the housing and building codes that apply.

Owners and property managers who own apartments that fail their inspections will be given time to make any needed repairs or upgrades. Those owners who are not able, or willing, to make those repairs or owners who refuse to have their apartments inspected may be denied their Certificate of Rental Compliance. If that happens, owners will not be permitted to operate those units as an income-generating property. Further, tenants may not be allowed to be evicted for non-payment of rent.

Considering that there are more than 20,000 rental units in the City of Buffalo, I am sure it will take them quite a while to inspect everyone's apartment. You can find out more information about this program here on the City of Buffalo's website.

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