Neighborhood Services

Neighborhood Services

The mission of the Office of Neighborhood Services is to improve the quality of life for Columbia’s residents through fairly and swiftly enforcing city codes related to residential life and build a sense of community by offering valuable volunteer opportunities, providing resources for neighborhood leaders to solve issues independently and managing donations to support our community.

Rules, Contact information, and Documentation governing rentals in the City of Columbia

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Rental Housing Compliance

Rental Unit Conservation Law

The Rental Unit Conservation Law regulates the licensing, operation, standards and conditions for rental housing within the City of Columbia. This regulation specifies that all rental housing is issued a Certificate of Compliance. This certificate is a statement that the rental unit for which it was issued meets the general licensing ordinance, the Zoning Ordinance, the Property Maintenance Code and other applicable standards. It is unlawful to operate within the city any apartment house, rooming house, two-family dwelling, or a single rental unit without a current certificate of compliance.

Procedure for issuance of a certificate

    1. Have the vented mechanical appliances, gas furnace, boiler, water heaters, etc., inspected and certified by a licensed heating, ventilation and air conditioning mechanic. You will need to arrange for this inspection with an HVAC contractor. Have the mechanic complete the HVAC certification form.
    2. Apply for a rental certificate on the application form provided by the Office of Neighborhood Services. You must submit a completed HVAC certification form, the rental application and the required fees to the Office of Neighborhood Services.
    3. After submitting your application and fees, you will be notified of your inspection date and time.
    4. The inspector will meet you at the property for your inspection appointment. If there are no violations noted at the inspection the certificate will be issued.

We recommend that owners and renters of rental housing familiarize themselves with the Rental Unit Conservation Law that can be found in the City Code of Ordinances, Chapter 22, Article V.