When you need a rental inspection
If you have a rental property in Boston, you will be selected for a rental inspection once every five years. If your property is selected for an inspection, we'll send you a notice in the mail with instructions.Rental registration common questions
Have questions about the rental registration program? Find your answers.
Who needs to get inspections
All rental properties in the City of Boston must get inspections.
The following properties are exempt:
- buildings that have six or fewer units with the property owner living in one of the units
- properties owned and operated by City, state, or federal government, and
- rooming houses, dorms, and lodging houses with a valid lodging license.
These properties are NOT exempt from inspections:
- vacant properties and units
- properties under renovation
- properties where the tenant is a relative who is 18 or over and not on the deed, and
- units where you don't collect rent.
What to do when you get a notice
If you get a notice for a rental inspection, you can do one of the following:
- Have a City housing inspector inspect your units. The cost is $50 per unit if your building has one-to-three units, $75 per unit if there are four or more, and $75 per condo unit.
- Get an inspection from an authorized inspector. We take reports from these authorized inspectors. After the inspection, you must submit one passed inspection report with a signed affidavit per unit. Each report must be signed by the authorized inspector. You need to pay a $15 filing fee for each unit report.
- You may also file inspection reports from Boston Housing Authority or Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership inspectors. There's a $15 filing fee for each unit report filed.
- Refer to the Notice of Selection you received for dates and time restrictions.
- You can apply for a Five-Year Alternative Inspection Compliance Plan. This is only for landlords who have a history of meeting state and City codes. Learn more about how to apply for the Five-Year plan.