Lakewood suspends POS inspections for some residential rental income property and commercial retail tenants
The city of Lakewood recently issued a memo regarding the change to their Point of Sale inspections. The full memo is below. You can learn more here.
Effective immediately, the city of Lakewood Division of Housing and Building no longer requires Point of Sale inspections, which are also known as Certificate of Occupancy inspections, for residential rental income property and commercial retail tenants unless the change in tenancy constitutes a change of use or occupancy under state building code. The city of Lakewood Law Department has determined that as a result of recent trial court decisions, these inspections may be construed as a violation of an individual’s rights. Statewide litigation has called into constitutional doubt municipal ordinances forcing point-of-sale inspections without consent and leaving unclear that all property owners, under the Fourth Amendment, have the right to be free of unreasonable government searches.
Legislation currently in front of city council will write this policy in to our ordinances, but at the same time give us additional tools to access properties that may pose a concern. Lakewood has not had a history of conducting warrantless or coerced searches, but these proposed code changes reduce potential for liability imposed on other municipalities defending themselves. As this change is implemented, workload will reevaluate to better focus our efforts on serving the Lakewood community by ensuring the safety, maintenance and viability of residential and commercial properties within the city.
Applicants who have scheduled POS inspections which have not been performed will be contacted regarding this policy and application fees refunded if they opt to not have the inspection performed. Please note: POS inspections are still available on a voluntary basis. Once an initial inspection has been performed, cases will follow previously established procedure. Please work to resolve these cases in an expedient manner. Communication to real estate agents and title agencies is being prepared for distribution. If there are any questions regarding this policy, please let me know.
END OF MEMO