Rental Registration and Inspections

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Rental Housing Standards

The City of Rowlett passed an ordinance establishing a Rental Housing Standards Program. This program is designed to ensure minimum housing standards for the protection and safety of the occupants of all rental homes, both single family and multifamily.

The program is divided into two categories: Single-Family Rental and Multi-Family Rental.

Single Family Rental:

All single-family houses and duplexes are required to be registered annually. The fee for annual registration is $50.00 per property. City staff are available for complaint response as needed. Inspections are required when there is a tenant change.  The new tenant cannot move in until the inspection has been approved. A $75.00 fee is charged for this inspection.  If the new tenant moves in before the inspection is approved, the property owner can be charged a $200.00 fee as well as issued citations for allowing the new tenant to occupy the home prior to inspection approval.  Please see the FAQ section for more information. 

Multi-Family Rental:

Multi-Family rental complexes will be licensed and inspected on an annual basis. The fee for annual license is $15.00/unit/year. Inspections will consist of 100% exterior of ALL structures on site and minimum 5% interiors, with a minimum of 1 occupied unit. Property management is responsible for obtaining permission to inspect an occupied unit. City staff are available for complaint response as needed. See FAQ for more information.

At this time, if you have questions, you may contact the Building Inspections Division at 972 412 6125. You may also visit our office at 5702 Rowlett Rd. Rowlett, TX 75089.

Short Term Rental:

A short term rental is defined as any single-family or duplex dwelling or an accessory structure that is leased or rented for a period less than 30 days and are required to be registered annually. The fee for annual registration is $500.00 per property. Four inspections are required each year by Rowlett Building Safety inspectors. City staff are also available for complaint response as needed. 

Click here for Guidelines required for short term rentals. Upon completion, applications and annual fee can be submitted online via or brought in to visit our office at 5702 Rowlett Rd. Rowlett, TX 75089.

The City of Rowlett has implemented a 24 hour telephone line that anyone can call regarding possible violations to our short-term rental regulations.  That number is:  (800) 808-3126.

International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC)

The City of Rowlett adopted the International Property Maintenance Code (2015) as the property maintenance model for all properties throughout the city.

The IPMC is a model code that regulates the minimum maintenance requirements for existing buildings. It is a maintenance document intended to establish minimum maintenance standards for basic equipment, light, ventilation, heating, sanitation and fire safety. Responsibility is fixed among owners, operators, and occupants for compliance. The IPMC provides for the regulation and safe use of existing structures in the interest of the public safety and welfare in and of the community.

A free copy of the 2015 IPMC may be found on the ICC website .


Does the City inspect rental houses or apartments?

Yes. This a brand new program in Rowlett, but not a new one around the Metroplex, state, or country. The City of Rowlett has adopted an ordinance establishing minimum standards of housing for rental properties. This will be for all apartments, duplexes, and single family homes (including individually owned and rented condos and townhomes).

What is the purpose of the rental housing program?

Rowlett is getting older and also continues to grow. There are some areas of Rowlett that are showing signs of aging, wear & tear, not to mention that the City has amazing citizens, we want to ensure that the citizens that occupy rental properties are afforded a quality and safe place for them and their families.

Do the rental properties have to be inspected each year?

Single family homes will be inspected when tenants change or upon complaint request by a tenant. Multi-family properties will be inspected annually or upon complaint request.

How does an inspection work?

Inspections for single family homes and duplexes will be conducted when there is a change of occupancy/renters. For properties with variable or short-term leases, the inspections will occur once within each 12 month period, unless requested by the owner/agent. Once an inspection has been completed, the inspection report and result will be emailed to the owner/agent/inspector/and utility billing. When the new tenant arrives to establish utility service, the inspection report is already at the office and move-in will not be hampered.

Multi-family complexes will receive an annual inspection consisting of 100% exterior of all buildings on the property and 5% interiors. The City will inspect at least 1 occupied unit with Property Management obtaining PRIOR permission.

All tenants may request a complaint inspection. The City will respond to complaints as they are received. Staff typically respond within 48 hours for most items. Life Safety concerns are immediate, during business hours. Please note: Tenants are expected to follow the complaint/request reporting procedures contained within the lease. The City is NOT a tenant’s first call nor is the City a means of retaliation against an owner/manager. Please call the City when requests have not been addressed within a reasonable time frame. As always, City staff are here to serve our citizens. If you have a need, please do not hesitate to contact staff.

Is there a license/registration and fee for the program?

All Single-Family and Duplex homes are required to be registered annually.  Single-Family/Duplex registration fees are $50 per unit per year.  Additionally, each time there is a tenant change, a new inspection is required and the inspection must be approved before the new tenant occupies or moves any items into the building.  The fee for this inspection is $75.00. This fee is in addition to the $50.00 annual registration fee.

Multi-Family registration fees are $12 per unit per year. You can apply via our online portal Here -- or at the Community Development Office located at 5702 Rowlett Rd. Rowlett, TX 75089

Are all apartments and rental properties “bad?”

Not at all. As a matter of fact, one would say most of the properties are not bad and assume the same for owners and landlords. BUT, the fact remains that there are those tenants that are not afforded a safe and quality home. They often endure periods with no hot water, no smoke detectors, no heat or cooled air, etc. and requests for repair go unanswered.

Is there some sort of code explaining the requirements for rental homes and apartments? 

The city has adopted the International Property Maintenance Code as a baseline set of minimum standards. The inspection forms for both single-family and multi-family properties will be on the Rental Housing web page.

Is the International Property Maintenance Code just for rental properties?

No. The property maintenance code will serve as the maintenance code for the exterior of all residential and commercial properties, rental or not. Code Enforcement will use the same codes for non-rental properties.

Who do I contact if I have a complaint?

To report a complaint concerning a rental residence, please call the Building Inspections Division at 972-412-6125 or send us an email.

Will the program delay tenants being able to move in? What about getting utilities turned on?

The answer is NO, unless there is a life-safety issue needing repair prior to occupancy. Staff is taking every effort to ensure that the flow of business is not interrupted or that tenants are not hampered from moving in. Staff will do everything possible to accommodate inspection schedules, but, it is expected that property agents/owners will also do their part to notify staff of the need for an inspection too.

Getting utilities turned on is NOT tied specifically to the rental inspection program, as the requirement for executed closing documents or lease agreement has existed for years prior. But, an inspection is required prior to move-in (single-family only) and utility service connection.

Forms, Links, additional Resources

Rental Housing Standards Ordinance (PDF)

Single Family Registration Application (PDF)

Multi-Family Registration Application (PDF)

Single Family Inspection Form (PDF)

Multi-Family Inspection Form (PDF)