Beginning with the 2024 business license renewal season, Cobb County requires multi-family rental dwellings of four (4) or more units to be inspected for code compliance in order to preserve property values, promote community safety and wellbeing, and encourage investment in upkeep and maintenance.
Multi-Family Inspection Program Forms
Multi-Family Inspection Program Details
Per Cobb County Code Chapter 18 Section 18-364 – 18-368, properties must be inspected by a Certified Building Inspector, and rental businesses must submit a Certificate of Compliance annually when renewing their Occupational Tax Certificates.
Beginning with the 2024 Occupational Tax year (November 1, 2023), 100% of building exteriors and 25% of interiors of all multifamily rental dwelling/units are required to be inspected and certified to be in compliance with required standards. Every year thereafter, 100% of the exterior and 25% of the interiors of all multifamily rental dwelling/units are required to be inspected and certified to be in compliance with required standards provided that all buildings and all units are to be inspected, at a minimum, every four years.
Each owner and certified building inspector is required to keep a written record of all inspections for each unit, including the date of the inspection, items inspected, and any violations observed. If the inspector determines that repairs are necessary to comply with the minimum standards a Notice of Non-Compliance will be issued. An inspection report listing any observed violations and a renovation plan must be submitted to the County’s Chief Building Official for review and approval. The building official can grant an extension of up to one year to complete the repairs (a building permit may be required). However, if life safety issues are involved, no extension will be granted, and any such units may not be leased until brought into compliance.
Inspectors must be certified by Cobb County prior to inspecting any multifamily properties. To become certified, inspectors must submit a copy of their business license and applicable certification for approval and meet with the Chief Building Official.
Failure to comply with the ordinance can result in fines for each unit subject to inspection for each day that compliance has not been met. Additionally, the County can inspect the units at a non-compliant property at any time, if necessary. If this occurs, the property owner will be responsible for the cost of the inspections, and failure to pay such costs could result in a lien being placed on the property.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who must comply with the ordinance?
The ordinance is applicable to all residential rental properties within the County with four (4) or more individual units available for lease and meeting the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 48-13-5 for having a management office whether off-site or on-site (all such properties are required to carry an Occupational Tax Certificate issued by the County).
When must inspections be completed?
Initially, all properties subject to the ordinance are to have 100% of their exterior and 25% of interiors of rental units and buildings inspected and certified by a Certified Building Inspector by the 2024 Occupational Tax year. When there is a change in ownership of an existing multi-family, new inspections will be required.
How often are the inspections required?
After the initial certification, 100% of exteriors and 25% of the units at each subject property must be inspected each year, so that 100% of the units and buildings have been inspected every 4 years.
Who can perform the inspections?
Only third-party inspectors who are certified by Cobb County may perform the inspections. The County maintains a list of Certified Building Inspectors.
How does an inspector become certified by the County?
Inspectors submit an application form with copies of their credentials, photo ID, and business license to the Building Official, who reviews and approves applications.
Acceptable credentials are:
- ICC-certified Property Maintenance & Housing Inspector, Building Inspector, or Commercial Combination Inspector.
- Inspectors must meet with the building official prior to conducting any inspections.
What items are being inspected?
The County provides checklists for interior and exterior inspections.
On what code is the checklist based?
The required standards are the latest edition of the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) adopted by Cobb County, along with other County ordinances related to property maintenance.
What has to be turned in to the County?
Units Passing Inspection: A Code Compliance Certificate which certifies that the unit has passed inspection, all inspection records (checklists) and photos if any for each unit and building certified must be submitted to the County concurrent with the annual renewal of the subject property’s occupational tax certificate.
Units failing Inspection: A Code Non-Compliance Certificate which certifies that the unit or building has failed inspection, all inspection records (checklists) and photos if any for each unit and building certified must be submitted to the County concurrent with the annual renewal of the subject property’s occupational tax certificate. Deficient properties will be required to submit a plan to bring the property up to standards to the Cobb County Chief Building Official. The property owner must maintain detailed records of inspections.