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Re: NJ DCA Inspection
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fat-ass-bike wrote:
I am aware of that, BUT it should be unless their is a complaint - otherwise the NJ DCA leave themselves open to litigation if they approve / pass a dwelling and something happens - Blame could be past onto them by a clever lawyer!


In my experience, I believe 5 inspection on 2 properties, they have always gone into the units on the routine 5 year inspection. Liability is nonsense, they know half those smoked detectors will be taken down in the kitchen as soon as they're gone, they can't be held responsible.

Posted on: 2013/5/23 3:30
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Re: NJ DCA Inspection
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brewster wrote:
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fat-ass-bike wrote:
It should be an inspection of all 'common access areas' and not individual apartments unless there is a complaint, as it would be a privacy issue - If the cops were cleaver they should accompany the NJ DCA for a warrant-free inspection too .... imagine what they could find in the hood and government run estates !


Not true. They inspect each unit for working smoke detectors, locks and any other safety issues or poor maintenance.


I am aware of that, BUT it should be unless their is a complaint - otherwise the NJ DCA leave themselves open to litigation if they approve / pass a dwelling and something happens - Blame could be past onto them by a clever lawyer!

Posted on: 2013/5/22 23:26
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Re: NJ DCA Inspection
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fat-ass-bike wrote:
It should be an inspection of all 'common access areas' and not individual apartments unless there is a complaint, as it would be a privacy issue - If the cops were cleaver they should accompany the NJ DCA for a warrant-free inspection too .... imagine what they could find in the hood and government run estates !


Not true. They inspect each unit for working smoke detectors, locks and any other safety issues or poor maintenance.

Posted on: 2013/5/22 21:35
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Re: NJ DCA Inspection
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It should be an inspection of all 'common access areas' and not individual apartments unless there is a complaint, as it would be a privacy issue - If the cops were cleaver they should accompany the NJ DCA for a warrant-free inspection too .... imagine what they could find in the hood and government run estates !

Posted on: 2013/5/22 7:10
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Re: NJ DCA Inspection
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Oy. Sounds like it could be a nightmare just thinking of all of the things in this old building they could nitpick. I am the tenant in one of the units, not an owner. I just don't want anything that's under my control in the unit to cause my landlord problems.

Posted on: 2013/5/22 2:43
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Re: NJ DCA Inspection
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Everything said was right, but sometimes they can be erratic. Our 1st purchase in 97 had a current green card, but the state the next year told us we needed emergency lights and had to put handrails on the back steps and the sidewalk hatch. Really, the hatch. I've been told door chains are mandatory, then that's ignored in the next inspection.

As long as you don't have a tenant who'll give them a laundry list, it's usually painless if the place looks maintained, all the safety gear is working, and the exits & fire escape are unobstructed. NOTHING on the escape! Remember, a hatch to the roof counts as a fire exit.

Had my 1st ever experience with a Housing dept inspection this winter when a tenant complained to them that I wasn't keeping the heat at her preferred 80 deg. They found the 70 deg heat fine, but then went fishing all over. After explaining that it was all about tenant safety, they dinged me for nonsense stuff like the basement hatch being a little rusty and the paint on the stoop sides flaking.

They also hit me for the leader from the little porch roof going to the sidewalk, when a walk up & down any street would find half the properties either had leaders or pumps on the sidewalk. When I pointed this out, he said they weren't responding to a complaint about those addresses.

Lesson: keep your tenants happy, as I have done for 16 years, and you'll never see the Housing Dept at your door, and the DCA will not be a big problem either.


Posted on: 2013/5/22 2:19
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Re: NJ DCA Inspection
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Thanks for the helpful replies, everyone!

Posted on: 2013/5/22 1:54
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Re: NJ DCA Inspection
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No wonder why NJ taxes are sky high - the same inspections that the JCFD does.

Posted on: 2013/5/22 1:06
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Re: NJ DCA Inspection
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Make sure your door closers (both to common hallway and to the apartments) work.

Make sure the emergency lights in the hallway work.

Posted on: 2013/5/21 23:01
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Re: NJ DCA Inspection
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For me it was relatively painless...other than the fee!! They focused on the things you mentioned like CO detectors, fire detectors, emergency lighting works properly, clutter in the common hallways/fire escape that can block people from getting out in an emergency, self closing doors, etc. Anything the find will be written up and you have a few months to fix. They told me they were really back logged so it would be a while before they could come back to check if you fixed the issues. The guy I dealt with was reasonable. The stuff we had to fix was pretty minor. Having said that, I am glad it is only once every 5 years!

Hope this helps. Good luck !

Posted on: 2013/5/21 22:14
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Re: NJ DCA Inspection
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If this is similar to what we had years ago, then the things I remember are:

- smoke detectors
- fire escapes (yeah, you should probably remove that plant)
- fire proof doors (or fire proof paint on the door)
- illegal apartments / rooming;

When they came, it was a quick walk through, but they were definitely making sure the basics were up to code.

We had a few violations in the building, but they only gave us the list on the spot (or perhaps mailed to us afterwards), and we had time to correct them. they came back later for a follow up, which we corrected everything (all minor) and didn't get a fine.

Good luck!

Posted on: 2013/5/21 22:13
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NJ DCA Inspection
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Received a notice on the door that the NJ Dept of Community Affairs will be doing a multi-tenant building inspection and needs access to all units in the building.

Just wondering what they typically look for, so we can avoid getting any violations. I scanned through the 104 pages of legalese (link below) on the DCA website, which includes mentions of dust samples, cleanliness, and other odd things. But what do they really check out? Smoke detectors? CO detectors? Will I get a violation for having a plant on the fire escape? Is it a quick in and out, or are they going to spend 30 minutes checking every inch of my apartment (and critiquing the decor)? Any experience/advice from others is appreciated. Thanks!

http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/codes ... eg/pdf_regs/njac_5_10.pdf

Posted on: 2013/5/21 21:56
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