Minimum Residential Housing Standards

The purpose residential housing standards is to establish minimum standards for basic equipment, lighting, ventilation and electrical services for all residential buildings and parts thereof and to obtain the public and private benefits accruing from the provision of such services. A suitable environment for safe and healthy living is encouraged by adequate water and sanitary facilities, proper storage and disposal of garbage and other refuse, safe means of egress, provision of light, air, heat and electrical service. No person shall occupy as owner or let to another for occupancy any space in a residential building for the purpose of living, sleeping, cooking or eating therein, which does not comply with applicable local, state and federal codes and with the following requirements.

Sanitary Sewer Facilities 
Every dwelling unit shall contain the following in good working condition and properly connected to hot and cold water lines as well as to an approved water and sewer system: 

  • A kitchen sink;
  • A flush water closet; (in a private room)
  • A lavatory basin; (in a private room; supplied with hot water at all times)
  • A bathtub or shower (in a private room; supplied with hot water at all times).

Water Heating Facilities 
Every residential building shall have supplied water heating facilities which are properly installed, are maintained in safe and good working condition and have a minimum withdrawal temperature capacity of 120 degree Fahrenheit. 

Water heating units shall have a capacity equal to or greater than the following:

 Tank Storage: 100 degrees Fahrenheit rise/gallon per hour.  Tankless Type: 100 degrees Fahrenheit rise/gallon per minute. 
Units Served
Number of Gallons 
Heating Capacity
Gallons Per Minute
 1  20 20 2.75 
 2  30 30 5.00 
 3  40 35 7.75 
 4 50 40  10.00 
 5  60 45  12.75 
 6  70 50  15.00 
 7  80 55  17.75 
 8  90 65  20.00 
 9  100 70  22.75 
 10  110 80  25.00 
 11  120 95  27.75 

Every gas water heating unit shall be equipped with a pilot light and automatic gas shutoff. 

No water heating unit shall be allowed in any sleeping room. 

No gas or oil fired water heating unit shall be allowed in a bathroom, closet, under any stairway or in a confined space with access only to above locations. 

All fuel burning heaters shall be connected to a vent to the exterior. 

Garbage and Rubbish Storage
The owner of every residential building shall be responsible for supplying such building with garbage and rubbish storage facilities.

Rubbish storage and disposal: 

  • If stored outdoors, rubbish shall be stored in flytight, rodentproof, nonflammable, reasonably waterproof box or container. 
  • If stored in the basement or cellar of a building, rubbish shall be stored in nonflammable containers.
  • No loose rubbish is allowed. 

Garbage storage and disposal:

  • Garbage shall be disposed of in containers that conform to specifications established by the Board of Public Works or in a garbage grinder that discharges into the sanitary sewer system.
  • Garbage may be disposed of in outside storage containers maintained and located so that no odors permeate any dwelling units. 
  • Each container shall be cleaned at least weekly.
  • No loose garbage is allowed.

Every dwelling unit and lodging room shall have direct access to at least two accessible unobstructed means of egress leading to safe and open public right of way at ground level as required by state and city codes.

Windows, Ventilation Requirements
Every habitable room shall have outside windows having a total area enclosed by the sash of at least 8 percent of the floor area of the room, but not less than 12 square feet. The top of at least one such window shall be not less than 6 1/2 feet above the floor, and at least 50 percent of the required window area must open. 

Windows in each habitable room, bathroom windows and all doors opening to the exterior of the dwelling shall be provided with screens of no less than no. 16 wire mesh which will effectively prevent the entrance of flies and mosquitoes. Provided, however, approved door closers may be used in lieu of screen doors on exterior hallway doors on apartment buildings. 

Every residential building having basement windows or exterior basement doors shall have screens of not less than no. 16 wire mesh on all doors and windows, when open. Such required outside windows shall open directly toward a street, alley or toward an unobstructed approved yard or court on the same lot with the building. 

Every bathroom and water closet compartment shall comply with the light and ventilation requirements for habitable rooms contained herein except interior bathrooms may be permitted when allowed by city and state codes.

Electrical Service Requirements
Every room shall contain such electrical receptacles and fixtures as required by the city code. Each lodging room offered for rent shall be provided with lamps or fixtures with bulbs having a total capacity of at least 150 watts incandescent or equivalent. Every such receptacle and fixture shall be connected to the source of electric power in a proper manner.

Heating Facilities 
Every residential building shall have heating facilities which are properly installed, are maintained in good working condition, and are capable of adequately heating all habitable rooms to a temperature of 67 degrees Fahrenheit. All temperature readings shall be taken from 42 inches to 48 inches above the floor when there are no drafts or unusual wall conditions. All fuel burning heaters shall be effectively vented to assure proper draft. No unvented fuel burning space heaters shall be allowed in sleeping rooms. Appropriate clearances around all room or space heaters shall be provided and maintained, and the floor shall be protected in an acceptable manner.

Lighting Requirements
In every building that contains three or more dwelling units all passageways, stairways and exits required for emergency exiting shall be illuminated with lighting that conforms to minimum standards contained in applicable state or federal regulations.