Property Standards inspects both the internal and external structure of a building for building code or city ordinance violations. Since property codes and city ordinances are numerous and subject to change, it would be impossible to maintain all of them on this page. For a list of Building Codes, click here. For the City Ordinances, click here. Below are common Property Standards issues.
If you have further questions you may contact 815-987-5651 or e-mail us.
Garages and Accessory Structures
City of Rockford’s Property Maintenance Code Section 302.7 regarding Garages and Accessory structures states:
All accessory structures, including detached garages, fences and walls and retaining walls shall be maintained structurally sound and in good repair. All garages where a garage door was intended or installed must be provided with a functioning garage door.
Below are some options available to homeowners & banks/mortgage companies to prevent an ordinance violation:
- Make sure garage & garage doors are tightly secured at all times when not in use;
- Keep fences, walls & retaining walls in good condition. Replace any rotted, broken boards or extremely bent chainlink fencing.
- Make sure retaining walls are in good shape & do not allow ground erosion onto neighboring properties; replace or repair any retaining walls that are in bad shape & falling apart.
City of Rockford’s Property Maintenance Code Section 304 regarding the Exterior of a Structure deals with many types of exterior issues.
- The General Exterior of a structure must be in good shape.
- Exterior surfaces need to be free of holes, cracks & decay. Rotting wood & missing siding needs to be replaced to avoid decay underneath the surface.
- Property addresses need to be visible from the road in order for emergency personnel to be able to identify the property.
- All exterior structural members need to be free from decay & deterioration.
- Foundation walls need to be free from holes, cracks & decay as well. These issues a lot of times enable rodents and other pests a way to gain entry to the interior of the structure.
- Exterior walls need to be free from deterioration as well. Exterior walls need to be weather-proofed by either siding or painting.
Roofs and Drainage
- Any roof needs to be sound, tight and not have defects that admit rain. Just putting a tarp over the roof does not fix the problem. A roofing permit is required to do any roofing work.
- Gutters and downspouts need to be maintained in good repair & free from obstructions. Drainage water may not be discharged in a manner that creates a public nuisance.
- Overhangs should be free from decay & deterioration. This includes canopies, metal awnings & fire escapes, to name a few. These should also be properly anchored so as to be kept in a sound condition.
Stairways & Porches
- Exterior stairways, decks & porches should be maintained structurally sound, in good repair & be capable of supporting the imposed loads.
- Exterior handrails and guardrails should be firmly fastened & maintained in good condition.
Windows and Doors
- All exterior window & door frames should be in sound condition, good repair and weather tight.
- All windows shall be maintained free from cracks and holes. Plexiglass or regular glass may be used when replacing any windows.
- Every window, other than a fixed window, shall be easily openable and capable of being held in position by window hardware.
- Insect screens are required during the period from April 1st to October 1st on every door, window and other outside opening to allow for ventilation of habitable rooms.
- All exterior doors shall be maintained in good condition & be able to be tightly secured at all times.
City of Rockford’s Property Maintenance Code Section 305 regarding the Interior of a Structure deals with many types of interior issues.
- The General Interior of a structure must be in good shape and in a safe and sanitary condition.
- Interior surfaces including windows and doors shall be maintained in good, clean and sanitary condition. Cracked or loose plaster, decayed wood and other defective surface conditions shall be corrected and repaired.
Stairways and Walking Surfaces
- Every stair, ramp, landing or other walking surface shall be maintained in sound condition and good repair.
- Every handrail and guardrail shall be firmly fastened & maintained in good condition.
- All interior doors shall be maintained in sound condition & be able to be tightly secured.
Garbage and Rubbish
- All exterior and interior property of every structure shall be free from any accumulation of rubbish or garbage.
- All garbage must be disposed of in a clean and sanitary manner by placing in an approved garbage container. This container must be leakproof, covered & be placed outside.
- Refrigerators and similar equipment not in operation shall not be discarded without first removing the doors.
- All structures shall be kept free from insect and rodent infestation.
- All structures found to be infested shall be promptly and properly exterminated by professional exterminators. After extermination, proper precautions shall be taken to prevent re-infestation of the structure by both the owner & the occupant.
- All utilities, ELECTRICAL, GAS AND WATER, must be hooked up to property and in working order for property to be inhabited and occupied.
- All plumbing fixtures shall be properly installed and maintained in working order.
- Any plumbing hazards such as inadequate service, backsiphonage, improper installation, deterioration or damage shall be required to be corrected to eliminate the hazard by a state licensed plumbing contractor.
- All plumbing fixtures shall be properly connected to either a public water system or to an approved private water system.
- Every occupied building shall be supplied with natural gas where natural gas equipment or appliances are present.
- Heat shall be provided to all buildings by the owner during the period of October 1st to April 1st and must maintain a temperature of no less than 68 degrees in all habitable rooms.
- A fireplace or a wood burning appliance cannot be used as the primary heat source in a building.
- All mechanical appliances, fireplaces, solid fuel-burning appliances, cooking appliances and water heating appliances shall be properly installed and maintained in a safe working condition and be capable of performing the intended function.
- All fuel burning equipment and appliances shall be connected to an approved chimney or vent. When a water heater and furnace are connected to the same chimney or vent, the water heater connection shall be above the furnace connection.
- Every occupied building shall be provided with electricity.
- Any electrical hazards such as inadequate service, improper fusing, improper wiring or installation shall be required to be corrected to eliminate the hazard by a city registered electrical contractor.
- Required emergency escape and rescue openings shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys or tools.
- Bars, grilles or similar devices are permitted to be placed over emergency escape and rescue openings provided such devices shall be releasable or removable from the inside without the use of a key, tool or force greater than that which is required for normal operation of the escape and rescue opening.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Single and multiple station smoke detectors shall be installed and maintained properly.
- Smoke detectors must be installed on the ceiling or wall outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms.
- Carbon Monoxide detectors shall be installed throughout every dwelling within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping purposes.
- The carbon monoxide alarm can be combined with smoke detecting devices provided that the combined unit complies with the respective provisions of the administrative code, reference standards and departmental rules relating to both smoke detecting devices and carbon monoxide alarms and provided that the combined unit emits an alarm in a manner that clearly differentiates the hazard.
- Every structure that contains more than one dwelling unit shall contain at least one approved carbon monoxide alarm in operating condition within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping purposes.
- The carbon monoxide alarms required may be either battery powered, plug-in with battery backup or wired into the structure’s AC power line with secondary battery back-up.
- The City of Rockford does not inspect for mold. Mold specialists can be located in your local yellow phone directory.