Rental Inspections

Self-Certification Rental Inspection is part of the City's Rental Registration program.  Owner(s), agent(s) or person(s) in charge must first register every residential rental unit or structure they are responsible for before completing the Self-Certification Rental Inspection process outlined on this page. 

November/December 2023 Update

City Council passed Ordinance 9132 (PDF), which extends the deadline to submit the Interior and Exterior Self-Inspection Checklists until October 1, 2024.  If you have already submitted your forms…thank you!  You are all set and in compliance until the Interior Self-Inspection Form is due again between June 1, 2025 and October 1, 2025.  

*Based on citizen feedback, City staff revised the Interior Self-Inspection Checklist (PDF) and Exterior Self-Inspection Checklist (PDF).  Thank you for your patience as staff continues to work through the implementation of this new program.

Owner Responsibility

Residential Rental Property Owner Handout (PDF)

The owner(s), agent(s) or person(s) in charge of every residential rental unit or structure are responsible for maintaining good repair and safe conditions in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 121 of the City's Codified Ordinances, the requirements established by the city administratively, and all other applicable law. Owners are also responsible for maintaining in a safe and sanitary condition the shared or common areas of the premises.  Owners of residential rental property units are required to complete interior and exterior inspections of each of their rental units (except properties as described in Section 153.03 B and C). 

Self-Certification Inspection Program

Interior and exterior inspections of each rental unit must be conducted to establish compliance with the minimum maintenance and safety standards and documented on an inspection form provided by the city.  Inspections shall be conducted by the owner, designated agent, or contracted for with a City of Bowling Green approved inspector.  A City of Bowling Green approved home inspector must be licensed by the Ohio Home Inspector Program.

The results of all inspections shall be clearly documented on city supplied and/or approved inspection forms (which are to be submitted through an on-line portal only), and such inspections shall follow the timelines and criteria specified in Chapter 121 of the City's Codified Ordinances and signed by the owner or a designee and by an occupant if the unit is occupied at the time of inspection. Occupant must attest only to receipt of the inspection checklist, and not to its accuracy.  A copy of the most recent inspection form must also be provided by all owners to all prospective occupants and conspicuously posted and maintained within the residential rental unit in a common area or other area so that the rental registration is visible to occupants and inspectors.

Owner(s) are required to distribute to occupants annually, and to each new occupant, the Occupant Information Sheet (PDF) provided by the city describing key local regulations, ordinances, including those pertaining to noise, alcohol, and nuisance houses, and state laws applying to residential rental units. As part of this registration and self-certification process, the owner shall attest to distributing the information sheet to occupants.

Interior Inspections

Property owners must submit initial interior inspection reports by October 1, 2024 (this is the new deadline, which was extended by City Council by Ordinance 9132 (PDF), passed on November 6, 2023). Future interior inspection reports are to be filed between June 1 and October 1 of each year.  Electronic submission are required.  Property owners may use the *Interior Inspection Form Copy (PDF) to view the components that are required to prepare for the Self-Certification Rental Inspection Program.

Multi-family dwellings are not required to submit an inspection of the interior rental units, if said units are annually inspected by a governmental agency, such as the Bowling Green Fire Division, so long as said inspection includes substantially similar factors as those set forth in the city approved inspection forms.  Multi-family dwellings are required to complete an annual fire inspection of common areas, hallways, lobbies, etc.

Exterior Inspections

The initial exterior inspection reports for all rental units are to be filed by October 1, 2024. Future exterior inspection reports are to be filed on a bi-annual basis (every two years) to be completed between June 1 and October 1 of each exterior inspection year. Electronic submission are required.  Property owners may use the *Exterior Inspection Form Copy (PDF) to view the components that are required to prepare for the Self-Certification Rental Inspection Program.  

All multi-family dwellings are required to file an exterior inspection report with the city.

Interior and Exterior Self-Inspection Form Submittal

The inspection submittal forms will only be accepted through the City’s On-line Rental Inspection Portal

Once a property is registered, the owner and/or authorized agent will receive a user name and password to access the on-line portal.  Depending on the timing of a new registration, the inspection submittal may or may not be required if it was submitted in the request time period – Interior forms are due annually between June and October and exterior forms are due every two years between June and October (due 2024 and then 2026).

Guide to Using the On-Line Inspection Portal (PDF)

For owners who may need additional assistance using the on-line portal or need access to a computer, there are staff that can assist and a public computer available in the Planning Department during office hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).

Please call the Planning Department at (419) 354-6218 or Email BG Rental Program with questions.

Third Party Inspections

When a property does not qualify for self-certification, a home inspector that is approved by the City of Bowling Green will be required to perform both the exterior and interior inspections. A City of Bowling Green approved home inspector must be licensed by the Ohio Home Inspector Program.  Fees for the inspection service will be the responsibility of the property owner. The inspections will be required to be filed with the city on inspection forms provided by the city within 30 days of the completion of the inspections accompanied with a written plan to correct any non-compliance.

The Ohio Department of Commerce provides a Licensed Inspectors Direct Search.  When using the search module, select “OHI” in the license number drop down shown below (example shows “Wood” for county) and then search by zip code, city or county and then hit “Submit” to see all the Licensed Inspectors meeting the search criteria.

Inspector Search Updated Image

Occupant Responsibility

The occupant(s) of a residential rental unit or premises shall be responsible for maintaining in a safe and sanitary condition that part of the unit and premises which he or she occupies and controls. In addition, occupants are responsible for maintaining in a safe condition all equipment and appliances which he or she owns.

Occupant Information

The owner shall be required to distribute to occupants annually, and to each new occupant, the Occupant Information Sheet (PDF) provided by the city describing key local regulations, ordinances, including those pertaining to noise, alcohol, and nuisance houses, and state laws applying to residential rental units. As part of this registration and self-certification process, the owner shall attest to distributing the information sheet to occupants.

If you have a concern about the interior or exterior condition of your dwelling unit, your first contact will be the landlord/property manager for your residence.   If you are unable to get your issue resolved, please contact the City’s Planning Department.

Occupant Information Sheet (PDF) 

A list of resources identifying additional tenant(s) rights, responsibilities, and resources are compiled below:

Chapter 121:

   (A)   The owner(s), agent(s) or person(s) in charge of every residential rental unit or structure shall be responsible for the maintenance thereof in good repair and safe condition in compliance with the requirements of this chapter, the requirements established by the city administratively, and all other applicable law. The owner shall also be responsible for maintaining in a safe and sanitary condition the shared or common areas of the premises.

   (B)   The occupant(s) of a residential rental unit or premises shall be responsible for maintaining in a safe and sanitary condition that part of the unit and premises which he or she occupies and controls. In addition, such occupant shall be responsible for maintaining in a safe condition all equipment and appliances which he or she owns.