Is the Unit Safe and Up to Code?

When you are looking for a potential home, it is natural to focus on the cosmetic aspects of a unit. However, it is most important to look at the general condition and safety of the unit. The following is a list of some things to look for:

  • Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detector.
  • Windows that open and shut properly.
  • Exterior doors with secure locks.
  • Fans or windows for proper ventilation in the bathroom and kitchen.
  • Bedrooms that have windows and/or exits in case of emergency. (Sometimes bedrooms in basements, for example, are not considered legal sleeping spaces because the windows are too high or too small for people to use as an escape route.)
  • Permanently installed, working heat sources, i.e. furnace, base board heaters, heat pumps, etc.
  • Aging and flaking paint in older homes that may contain lead and could pose a serious health hazard, especially for children.

Check out Seattle's Housing and Building Maintenance Code to read about the minimum standards for rental housing.