Inspections aren’t guaranteed for many buildings across Eastern Iowa
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Regardless of their age, many buildings in eastern Iowa are not required to have inspections for structural issues.
The cities of Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, and Iowa City don’t require inspections looking at the structural integrity of a building once it is past the construction phase. These cities do require inspections of rental properties where people live like the Davenport Hotel, which partially collapsed over the weekend.
Officials said crews are looking for five people during a press conference on Tuesday morning.
Phillip Platz, a spokesperson for Cedar Rapids, said the city does not routinely inspect privately-owned buildings unless it receives a complaint. He said the city performs routine inspections on new-construction projects to ensure codes are met and the properties are built in accordance with the plans provided by a design professional. Still, ongoing inspections don’t occur after construction is complete unless a complaint is received.
“Once construction is completed on privately-owned buildings, routine building inspections, maintenance, or repairs become the responsibility of the building owner,” Platz said.
He said the city’s Building Services Department inspects all registered rental properties every three years for violations of the city’s Housing & Property Maintenance Code.
Danielle Stizman, a Development Services Coordinator for the city of Iowa City, said it only performs building code inspections while buildings are under construction, renovation, or alteration subject to a building permit. She said if there a is concern the city can direct a building owner to address the concern and may require them to provide further investigation by a design professional such as an engineer or architect.
Iowa City inspects rental properties usually every two years. Stan Laverman, who is a senior housing inspector for Iowa City, said his department goes through nearly 20,000 rental units with five inspectors in 2021. He said the department will inspect older units every year.
Copyright 2023 KCRG. All rights reserved.