Madera code inspectors plan to check half of the cities homes

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Madera's new rental inspection program is taking aim at all of the city's estimated 8,500 rental properties, or about half of the cities homes and apartments.

Inspectors so far have determined 30 to 40 percent of the rentals inspected have issues.

Madera code enforcement officer Andrew Martinez explains, "We do have some that come up that have no hot water, some with structural issues, pretty severe, we have roach infestations so in some issues are plumbing, electrical, we have found every type of code violation."

Code violations that aren't fixed face fines of up to a thousand dollars. But Martinez says most violations involve nonworking smoke detectors and other readily correctable issues.

He says property owners get plenty of warning an inspection is coming, "We are not trying to trap anybody."

The key to inspections is getting every rental property registered. So far, it's believed all but a few hundred have signed up. With only five inspectors Martinez acknowledges the process of getting to all 8,500 properties is going to take awhile.

"This program is built for the long haul, 5 years, 10, 20. Had this program started ten years ago we would be in a much better place."

The program started last November, and landlords face an October 1 deadline to register their rentals with the city. Most of those who have failed to register are believed to be single-family homes, rather than apartments. Registration is free, but failure to register a rental property can result in a $ 650 fine.
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