Community Safety Guidelines

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How can this program benefit me?

Keep You Safe 

The purpose of the program is to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of those living in or near rental housing through the participation of owners, tenants, the City, and the community.

Property Owners Ensure Safety of Tenants

This program is designed to give property owners the benefit of knowing if their rental units meet the minimum safety standards as set forth in the locally adopted building and life safety codes.
Prospective and current tenants will benefit by knowing that their unit has been voluntarily inspected for safety code compliance.

Neighbors Provide Safe Neighborhoods

Additionally, ongoing inspections will help to preserve the quality of Bozeman's neighborhoods and the available rental housing.

Provide Renters with a List of Approved "Safe Rental Units"

All properties that meet the minimum safety standards will receive a “certificate of completion” and be added to the safe rental unit list on the City of Bozeman website as an “Approved” property having completed the inspection process. This certification is valid for three years.

Is there a cost for a Voluntary Rental Safety Inspection?

 

There will be no fee for the Rental Unit Safety Inspection.

Some violations could be subject to mandatory corrections, that may or may not have resulted in a Notice of Violation. If so those violations may have associated building permit fees as part of the resolution process.

Have more questions? 

Please Contact Us


Bozeman Fire Department
P.O. Box 1230 Bozeman, Montanan 59771
Phone: 406-582-2350
Email: info@bozemanfire.com

 

What happens if a violation is found?

If safety and health code violations are discovered, property owners will have 30 days to make repairs.

Other than potentially dangerous health and life safety conditions, correcting the violations may be done on a voluntary basis.

If the property owner/manager chooses not to complete the voluntary repairs within the allotted time, the unit will not be added to the list of approved safe rental units.

Potentially dangerous Health and life safety conditions


Violations subject to mandatory corrections will include; unsafe electrical, unsafe gas fueled appliances, inadequate means of egress, missing or not working smoke detectors, inadequate protection from the weather, lack of potable water, lack of adequate heating system, lack of an approved sewage disposal system and unsafe stairs and safety railings. In the above cases a Notice of Violation will be issued requesting the item be addressed immediately.

What if I don't meet my 30 day deadline?


If the rental unit has not been approved and certified within 30 days from the date the Notice of Violation was issued the file and application will be closed. In order to resume the certification process a new application must be submitted for the rental unit.

Note: Extensions to the 30 day re-inspection period may be issued in 15 day increments by the City of Bozeman Chief Building Official or Fire Marshal.

Once the violations have been addressed and the property has passed the inspection a Certificate of Completion will be issued. The unit will be then added to the list of approved safe rental units. This list will be made available to the public and will be posted on the City of Bozeman web site.

What is the "Safety Approved Rental" List and the Certificate of Completion?

The "Safety Approved Rental List" is an interactive list of rental units that have been inspected under the Voluntary Rental Unit Safety Inspection Initiative and received a "Certificate of Completion". Minimum health and safety standards  where verified based from the accepted community safety guidelines.

What issues will the inspector be looking for?

All inspections will be conducted using the current versions of the locally adopted fire and life safety and building codes. Using these standards will help to consistently identify health, life safety, and routine maintenance concerns in existing structures.

Inspection Checklist

  • The building address and apartment number must be clearly posted to facilitate emergency response from the fire and police department.
  • Safe fire or emergency exits leading to a street or other safe location.

    Note: Stairs, hallways and exits must be kept clear at all times.
  •  For each sleeping area, emergency exits including an emergency exit path that leads directly to the exterior of the building, (approved egress window or exterior door) must be provided.
  • Smoke detectors located inside each sleeping area and areas giving access to sleeping areas. In addition, smoke detectors shall be located at each landing or level and in the basement.

    Note: Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors are recommended in these locations.
  •  Electrical system, including an electrical panel accessible to each unit, lighting, wiring and equipment must be in good working order.
  • Ground Fault Circuit-Interrupter (GFCI) electrical receptacles should be provided in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms.
  • Gas connections to appliances in good shape with a shut off valve located at each appliance.
  • Heating equipment in good working order.
  • Operable dead bolts or locks on the main entry doors and operable locking or security devices on windows.

    Note: Deadbolts and window locks should be easy to open from inside the apartment without needing a key or any special knowledge of the locking device.
  • Floors, stairways and safety railings in good repair.
  • Natural lighting in all habitable spaces through windows or skylights. Windows in habitable spaces must be able to be opened at least 50% for ventilation unless there is a mechanical system that provides fresh, outside air.
What types of properties are inspected?

Properties included in this program

The scope of the inspection program is limited to single family apartments and efficiency unit rentals located within the Bozeman city limits.

Units to be approved must contain all facilities required to be included in a residential dwelling unit, i.e. kitchen, bathroom, designated sleeping areas, hot and cold potable water and heating equipment.

Properties NOT included in this program

The program does not include motels, hotels, dormitories, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals and boarding homes as they currently fall under other code sections already inspected by the fire and building departments regularly.

Who can request an inspection?

Property owners, managers, or tenants can  schedule the voluntary safety inspections with the City of Bozeman Fire Department.

No inspections will be conducted unless the owner and/or tenant or a designated representative (over 18 years old) is present.

How often should a safety inspection be done?

Inspections are valid for three years in order to maintain an "approved" status on the City of Bozeman safe rental unit list. Either property owners, managers, or tenants can call for and schedule the voluntary safety inspections with the City of Bozeman Fire Department.

No inspections will be conducted unless the owner, manager,  tenant or a designated representative (over 18 years old) is present.

 What is the definition of a Residential Dwelling Unit?

 

Units to be approved must contain all facilities required to be included in a residential dwelling unit, i.e. kitchen, bathroom, designated sleeping areas, hot and cold potable water and heating equipment.

 I just moved into my rental. How can I find out if a safety inspection has been done?

All approved rentals will be listed on our Safety Approved Rentals web page. Please check to see if your rental is listed. If not you can request an inspection by submitting a Safety Inspection Request. An inspector will contact you to schedule a time. 

It may also be helpful for you to review our Safety Checklist  to better understand what the inspector will be looking for. 

If you have any question please Contact Us and we will be more than happy to assist you. 

I have submitted an inspection request, now what?
  • Once we have receive your safety inspection request an inspector will contact you within 7 business day to schedule a convenient time for the inspection. Whether you are a property manager, owner, or tenant you must be present during the inspection; and be 18 years or older. 
  • The inspector will verify whether the unit meets each safety and health standards outlined in the "Rental Safety Checklist". If an issue is found the safety inspector will provide you with the necessary steps to correct the issue. 
  • The inspection results will be attached to an email and sent back to you. They can be found  under the "Safety Rental Checklist" on pages 3-4 of your email attachment.
  • Once all issues have been addressed please contact the inspector for a re inspection. You will find his/her contact information located on page 2. 
  • Final inspections will verify correction of issues and documentation will be processed through the Fire Safety Office. 
  • A Certificate of Approval will be issued to the property owner or manager, along with the rental unit being listed on the list of Safety Approved Rentals.