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What to look for in a housing property

Life Safety Systems

  • Exits: Building exit doors are unlocked and clear of obstructions.
  • Lights: All parking areas, common areas, and walkways are well-lit. All exterior lighting is in good condition and working order.
  • Smoke Alarms: All smoke detectors required by code are installed, in good working order, and receive annual inspections.
  • Windows: Every bedroom must have at least one operable window and a clear path of egress in case of a fire, where required by code.
  • Fire Extinguishers: Must be accessible, mounted, and properly inspected and tagged. Each unit/property must have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Are installed in any apartment with a gas furnace, gas hot water heater, or gas stove, are in good working order, and inspected annually.
  • Fire Department Connection: to sprinkler/standpipe systems is accessible and free of obstructions.
  • Sprinklers (if applicable): Sprinkler heads are clear of obstructions (not interfered by storage). Standpipe or sprinkler systems are operational and inspected properly.
  • Electrical panels: Are accessible and have a minimum 30-inch clearance.
  • Heating equipment: Has a minimum clearance of 3 feet from any combustible items (storage).
  • Codes: The property is not in violation of any building maintenance codes.

Exterior Conditions

  • Snow/ice removal: Performed on all solid surfaces to include, but not limited to: stairs, sidewalks, driveways, etc. (See applicable City and County snow removal policy)
  • Structure:
    • Building exterior is in good repair, including paint on all paintable surfaces, gutters, decks and balconies.
    • Metal surfaces are free from rust and deterioration.
    • Walls, foundation, windows, and glazing are free from cracks, breaks, holes, etc., and are structurally sound and secure.
    • Roofs, gutters, and drainage systems are working to their intended function and are protecting the housing from weather/not admitting rain.
  • Entry: Each exterior door is equipped with a deadbolt having at least a 1” throw that is secure and not loose in the frame. Door must have a 180 degree peephole. Strike plates should have three-inch screws unless the door frame is metal. Door locks are not reachable through an open window.
  • Locks: Working locks should be installed on all bedroom doors and all windows, with lift-and-slide protection on ground level windows. Lower-level sliding doors should be equipped with a Charley Bar or length of wood to prevent opening. Windows should have screens, be in good condition, and not loose in the window frames.
  • Exterior Lights: Emergency lights, exit lights, and signs are operating properly and inspected annually.
  • Address: Building and apartment numbers are in place and visible.
  • Greenery: Landscaping is trimmed and maintained, allowing for a clear line of sight from the interior to the exterior building grounds.
  • Trash/Recycling: The property is free of disorderly accumulation of storage or trash.  Outside Furniture: No upholstered furniture is permitted on exterior patios, balconies, porches, or decks.
  • Exterior Structure: Stairways, decks, porches, and balconies are kept in good repair and able to support intended loads, with guards and handrails intact. All stairways are clear of storage and obstruction.
  • Pools: Proper barriers are in place.
  • Parking: The property parking program identifies vehicles that do not belong. There are no vehicles without license plates or abandoned cars on the property.

Interior Living Conditions

  • General cleanliness/sanitation: Units are kept clean and sanitary.
  • HVAC: Working ventilation/heat/air exchange systems. Heating and cooling systems are functioning as intended and according to code.
  • Electrical systems:
    • Outlets are in proper working order according to code.
    • Outlet cover plates are installed where needed.
    • Electrical panels are properly wired and have no open blank spaces that are not covered.
    • No active hazards, such as exposed wiring or missing outlet covers, etc.
  • Plumbing systems: All fixtures function properly. There is no evidence of active water leaks or water damage.
  • Moisture: No evidence of excessive moisture, mold, or mildew.
  • Lighting: All light fixtures are in good repair.
  • Pest/vermin-free.
  • Structure: No cracks, holes, or signs of leaking in walls, ceilings, or on the floor.
  • Appliances: Apartments/houses have a working stove (no hotplates). If provided, refrigerator must be in working condition. Clothes dryers are properly vented to the exterior of the property, as required by code.
  • Carpets: Must be cleaned prior to a new tenant moving in.
  • Keys: Access to keys and apartments is strictly controlled and documented.

Property Maintenance Response

  • Inspection:
    • Property to be inspected a minimum of once a year and at the time of move-out.
    • All identified repairs must be fixed prior to the new tenant moving in, with the exception of a life safety repair which must be corrected immediately.
  • Maintenance:
    • Calls for maintenance requests by the tenant must be responded to within two business days, except in cases of severe weather or periods with a high volume of turnover.
    • Tenants who request an estimated date for completion after the initial assessment shall receive the estimate date within 24 hours.
  • Damage: Security Deposits and damage billing protocols must be clearly identified in the leasing process.



Off-Grounds Housing Listings

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Student Legal Services

Receive assistance with legal matters in many areas including consumer contracts, theft, debt collection, insurance, and landlord/tenant relations. Student Legal Services can review your lease before you sign it.

UVA Student Affairs

There are many offices in place to support students that fall under the Student Affairs umbrella. Student Affairs programs and services encourage student learning and interpersonal growth through general support with questions and concerns, incident reporting and response, and outreach to a diverse student body.

City Property Maintenance Inspector

The University funds a full-time City Property Maintenance Inspector to help address fire and other safety concerns for UVA students in living in off-Grounds neighborhoods surrounding the University. If you would like to have your housing inspected, call 434.970.3184.