Residential Rental Property Registration

City Council adopted the new Residential Rental Property Registration ordinance on October 16, 2018, and enforcement begins January 1, 2019. The purpose of this ordinance is to require any residential single-family property, including duplexes and townhomes that are being used as a rental property, to be registered and to adhere to established guidelines for maintenance and standards of care for the property.

This ordinance is intended to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the City and its residents by enforcing regulations regarding residential rental properties in the City through annual registration and periodic inspections.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Ordinance No. 2340, Residential Rental Registration Regulations

What facilities are governed by this ordinance?

Single-family dwellings, duplexes and townhouses that are rented or leased by an owner or owner’s agent to one or more people.

What is the most basic requirement of this ordinance?

Every residential rental unit must have a Rental Certificate of Occupancy (RCO) before it may be occupied by tenants.

How does one obtain an RCO?

A property must first be registered and then pass an interior and exterior inspection. Then an application must be made for an RCO.

What fees are associated with obtaining an RCO?

The following fees are specified by the City’s Master Fee Schedule:

Registration of Property, Inspection, & RCO: $75.00
Registration of Property (Only): $25.00
Inspection & RRCO (Only): $50.00
2nd Reinspection for the Same Violation(s): $50.00

How often must an owner register residential rental property?

Registration of every residential rental property must be renewed annually by December 31st.

Is there a fee for a late renewal?

Yes, if a registration renewal is submitted over 30 days after the due date, a $50 late fee will apply.

How often must property be inspected?

An inspection is required upon initial registration with the City and afterwards, every two years from the issuance of an RCO, or whenever there is a change of tenant/s.

What does an inspection cover?

Inspections will cover the requirements of all applicable codes and ordinances (including, but not limited to):

  • Maintenance and upkeep of all interior and exterior areas
  • Plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems
  • Structural integrity of roof, walls, chimneys and foundations
  • Weather protection issues such as exterior wall veneer, shingles, windows, doors, paint, wood rot, mold, etc.
  • Accessory buildings, fences, paved areas
  • Insect or rodent infestation
  • Nuisance violations:
    • High grass and vegetation encroachment issues
    • Junk, trash, debris
    • Junked/inoperable vehicles

When does my inspection need to be scheduled?

Inspections should be scheduled within 30 days of registration or the last failed inspection. Property owners/managers who do not schedule inspections within this time will incur a $50 late fee.

What if my property fails inspection?

Properties failing inspection will be given 30 days to correct all violations. There is no fee for the initial reinspection, but a $50 fee will be required upon scheduling the 2nd reinspection for the same violation.

How long is an RCO good for?

An RCO must be renewed and/or updated when:

  • Two years have elapsed since the RCO was issued
  • There is a change of tenant/s
  • There is a change of owner during the registration year

What are the responsibilities of the property owner or agent?

Owners must:

  • Maintain all structures, equipment, appliances to the property
  • Not permit occupancy of property that is not in safe and sanitary condition, or that does not comply with all ordinances enforceable by the City
  • Pay all taxes, liens, abatement fees, utility bills, fines, etc.
  • Notify the City at least 48 hours in advance of an eviction
  • Provide the City with a plan for clean-up and removal of personal items from the property 24 hours after the eviction
  • Not allow to exist any condition detrimental to safety or sanitation or in violation of any ordinance
  • Keep the property free from any accumulation of rubbish, trash, debris, filth or garbage
  • Provide written notice to the City whenever all tenants of the property change
  • Correct violations and maintain the property in compliance with all ordinances in the event of a dispute with the tenant or in the event that the tenant is absent or unwilling or unable to correct violations for which the tenant is otherwise responsible

What are the responsibilities of the tenant/s?

Tenants must:

  • Keep the interior and exterior of the property in clean, orderly and sanitary condition
  • Not allow to exist any condition detrimental to safety or sanitation or in violation of any ordinance
  • Keep the property free from any accumulation of rubbish, trash, debris, filth or garbage

May a tenant request inspection of residential rental property?

Upon request of a tenant, the City may inspect a property for structural, electrical, mechanical, or plumbing problems, ceiling leaks, smoke detector checks and insect or rodent infestation. The property owner or landlord must correct or repair any violations found within 30 days.

Fees

Change of Ownership During Registration Year: $10
Rental Registration Fee: $25
Rental Certificate of Occupancy (RCO) and Inspection Fee: $50
Replace or Update RCO: $10
Rental Registration Late Fee 30 Days After Due Date: $50

The Rental Registration Form should be filled out and returned to the Permit Desk at City Hall, or filled out electronically and emailed to Breanna Davis at rentalproperty@duncanville.com.

For rental property inspection requests, please contact Breanna Davis at 972-707-3891.

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Goals

  • Identify single-family (including duplexes and townhomes) residential rental properties citywide that are rented or leased for more than 30 days
  • Obtain property information and/or property/owner/manager/agent contact information for use by code enforcement and for emergency situations
  • Enhance partnerships and communication with property owners and tenants
  • Aid in housing stock preservation, maintenance and upgrades
  • Facilitate neighborhood stabilization, foster clean and safe rental properties without diminishing availability and affordability
  • Safeguard the life, health, safety, welfare and property of occupants by enforcement of minimum property standards

What’s Inspected

In accordance with applicable codes:

  • Interior and Exterior Building Conditions
  • Property Sanitation
  • Sidewalks and Driveways
  • Accessory Structures
  • Pools, Hot Tubs and Spas
  • Infestation Issues
  • Water and Plumbing Systems
  • Sanitary Systems
  • Mechanical Equipment
  • Electrical and Fire Hazards

Impact

  • Ordinance requires all single-family, duplexes, and townhouse properties to be registered with the City of Duncanville.
    • $25 annual registration fee.
  • Rental Certificate of Occupancy (RCO) must be obtained.
    • RCO application fee: Included with inspection fee
  • Must receive a City inspection at the time of initial registration. An inspection is also required every two (2) years or whenever there is a change of tenants; whichever occurs first:
    • Inspection: $50
    • Re-Inspection: $50 (after failing to comply with first Fail Notice)     
  • Interior and exterior inspections.
  • Must successfully meet the minimum standards set forth within the following:
  • No RCO will be issued until all taxes, liens, utility charges and outstanding code issues have been satisfied.
  • Owner/manager/agent must notify City of an eviction 48 hours within of service (owner must provide a plan for clean-up of any displaced personal property 24 hours after the eviction).
  • Failure to register a property and/or abide by the terms of this ordinance will result in a Class C misdemeanor.
    • Fine not to exceed $2,000 (fine does not include any other applicable code violations).
  • Maximum occupancy for residential unit will be determined at time of registration (determined by both the Residential Property and International Property Maintenance Codes).
  • Property manager/agent must reside and/or do business within the North Central Texas Council of Governments geographical area.