Repairing or Renting a Building

Certificate of Ordinary Repair
A Certificate of Ordinary Repair is a certificate that is issued to homeowners that identifies certain repairs that are allowed to be performed on a home or rental property that does not require a Building Permit. An outline of these repairs is available in the document Certificate of Ordinary Repair (PDF).

This certificate should be displayed on their building to let code enforcement officers know that the repairs being done, are allowed under this certificate, and do not require a permit. If you would like to know if the repairs you intend to do are covered under this certificate, simply call the building department and we would be happy to provide you with an answer.

Steps to Rent a Building You Own
Offering buildings or apartments for rent to persons is a highly responsible task that demands great responsibility. The greatest of these responsibilities is the life safety of your rental space, and the ability of your tenant(s) to feel safe and maintain the life safety systems that must be in place at all times.

Renting property as a business can be very rewarding, but also requires an enormous amount of work and attention, along with the responsibility of knowing the obligations that you have to complete and maintain. It is the obligation of the property to know and comply with all the laws, regulations and requirements of operating a rental business. The more you know, the more successful you will be. Maintaining your business and property, as legally required, will also provide your investment with value that will grow and add to your success.

Step 1 - LandLord Registration
It is a city ordinance, that all property that is to be rented to tenants for living purposes, and is not a single family dwelling, or an owner occupied 2 family structure, requires the property to be registered as a rental property with the Building Department. The Landlord Registration is an application form that requires verified owner information, a declared property agent (if the owner does not live in Schenectady County), a current insurance declaration or bond for the property, and a notary signature to verify the information presented.

This information must be completed prior to the building or apartment(s) being rented. Any changes to this information are the obligation of the property owner to amend their registration with the Building Department. Failure to perform the Landlord Registration prohibits the ability to obtain a rental certificate and legally rent an apartment.

Step 2 - Rental Inspection
A rental inspection is a comprehensive evaluation performed on a rental space that meets the NYS property maintenance and local housing codes to verify the safe living conditions of all apartments. A rental certificate must be obtained to legally rent an apartment. A rental inspection cannot be scheduled until the Landlord Registration is completed and recorded in the building department. The fee for the rental inspection is $50 and must be paid at the time the inspection is scheduled.

Any violations found during the inspection, must be corrected prior to the rental certificate being issued. Violations will have a prescribed amount of time for correction depending on the severity of the violation. Violations that are not corrected in the prescribed amount of time will be subject to an appearance ticket to City Court to resolve the violation, which may include, but not necessarily limited to fines and fees.

Step 3 - Rental Certificate
A Rental Certificate is obtained by scheduling and successfully passing a rental inspection. A Rental Certificate is valid for the period of time that the current tenant is living there. A new Rental Certificate must be obtained each and every time a tenant moves out of a space and a new tenant moves in. A Rental Certificate is valid for 30 days from the date of the rental inspection. If a tenant has not been placed in the apartment, and a verified name recorded in the Building Department, within 30 days of the inspection, then a new inspection must be performed prior to any tenant moving in. This will ensure the condition of the property has not changed and the life safety and health conditions are verified.

Renting an apartment or space to anyone for the purpose of living, without a current Rental Certificate, is in direct violation of the City code and will be subject to violations and prosecution which can/may involve fines, fees and possible jail sentence.