Rental Inspections

Initially, the Housing Safety Inspectors were focused on Two Family buildings that were identified as having the highest risk due to no inspection history.  Since inspecting all of the Two Family buildings, the Housing Safety Inspectors prioritize their inspections based on risk score and inspect those with the highest scores first.  General Assistance Safety Check inspections are folded into this workload and we coordinate these efforts with the Health and Human Services Department to expedite inspections and to find safe housing for those in need.

The Housing Safety Inspectors will inspect all of the residential units within a building. This includes the owner's unit, since risk factors within the owner's unit can also impact the safety of the rental units.  Please look at our Pre-Inspection Checklist to familiarize yourself before the inspector arrives.

The Licensing and Registration Office will contact landlords to schedule an inspection by email or phone. The inspector will evaluate the building and work with the property owner or manager to meet the required safety standards.

Preparing for Your Inspection
  • Make sure all areas of the house and garage are accessible for the inspector.
  • Remove all trash and debris throughout the property.
  • Repair any broken or hanging shutters, awnings, loose siding and chipped and peeling paint.
  • Replace or repair any missing window screens, door knobs or handles.
  • Check for leaking or dripping water supply lines and shut-off valves throughout the house (repair or replace as needed)
  • Photoelectric smoke alarms are required to be installed in each room used for sleeping, outside each room used for sleeping and in each story of the dwelling including the basement.
  • Plate covers are required for all light switches and outlets.
  • Check for signs of damage or decay on stairs, porches, handrails, railings, and decks.
For a more comprehensive list of potential violations, please refer to the Pre-Inspection checklist

To Schedule or Reschedule an Inspection:
Please call (207) 756-8131 or (207) 874-8557 or email housingsafety@portlandmaine.gov as far in advance as possible.  We typically schedule appointments at least two weeks in advance. 

If the owner or owner's representative is not present for the inspection, then it must be rescheduled and a $150.00 fee will be charged.

Inspections can be scheduled Monday through Saturday 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.

The Licensing and Registration Office is open in Room 307 of City Hall 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Wednesday and 9:00 am to 4:30 pm on Thursday and Friday. The phone number is (207) 756-8131 or 874-8557.


Questions can be directed to the Licensing and Registration Office (207) 756-8131 or (207) 874-8557 or housingsafety@portlandmaine.gov.