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Conway Introduces Rental Inspection Program for Enhanced Safety

Conway Introduces Rental Inspection Program for Enhanced Safet

In a proactive move to prioritize the safety Conway, New Hampshire, has launched a comprehensive rental inspection program. The program, initiated after a unanimous 5-0 vote by the Selectmen on August 5th, encompasses both long-term and short-term rental properties, including single-family homes and duplexes. Deputy Town Manager Paul DegliAngli has underlined the urgency for property owners to secure a rental license or initiate the application process by January 1st, highlighting the town's commitment to safety.

Licensing Options

Property owners have been presented with two distinct options, available until December 31st, to meet the program's requirements:

1. **Comprehensive Inspection**: Property owners can choose to complete a detailed form and pay a fee of $375. This choice entails allowing a fire department official to conduct a thorough inspection of the rental property, guided by a 10-point life safety checklist. Successful completion of this inspection results in the issuance of a rental license, valid for an impressive three-year period. Importantly, the form must be notarized for validation.

2. **Self-Affidavit**: Alternatively, owners may opt for a "self-affidavit," affirming that their property adheres to established life safety codes. This option carries a reduced fee of $125 but comes with a shorter validity period of one year.

**First-Movers: Mary and Wayne Bolduc**

Leading the way in embracing the program's safety measures were Mary and Wayne Bolduc, proud residents of Redstone and owners of a duplex on Greenstone Street. Having owned the duplex since 2008, they chose the first option to ensure their property underwent a meticulous inspection. Mary expressed their satisfaction with the process, stating, "We're just happy to know that everything is safe." Their inspection, conducted on August 29th and lasting a mere 10-15 minutes, culminated in the issuance of their rental license on August 30th.

Rental License: Symbol of Safety

The rental license, a certificate embellished with the town seal, stands as tangible proof that the property has successfully passed a life safety inspection, meticulously conducted by local fire departments. This certification grants authorization for rental, and its validity spans an impressive three years. Upon expiration, the license necessitates renewal through re-inspection.

Program Progress and Future Prospects

Nicholas DeVito, the Conway Zoning Officer, expressed his satisfaction with the program's progress, stating that the new life safety inspections program has been instrumental in ensuring the safety and well-being of the community. He emphasized the program's growth potential and commitment to further enhancing its effectiveness in the future. DeVito also outlined the inspection process for upcoming assessments, which will involve an inspector from one of the fire precincts and himself.

Safety Criteria

The life safety inspection criteria encompass a range of essential elements, including ensuring that the address number is visible from the street, hard-wired smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, sufficient egress, annual servicing of central heating systems, chimneys and wood stoves compliant with codes, an up-to-code electrical system, an adequate number of fire extinguishers, code-compliant fire pits, and safe grill placement. A detailed checklist is available for reference.

Differing Opinions

It's worth noting that not everyone in the community is entirely aligned with the program. The Mt. Washington Valley Association for Responsible Rentals has voiced concerns, with its president, David Cavanaugh, raising questions about the legality of licensing single-family homes and the physical inspection of such properties.

Program Uptake

As of now, the town has issued a total of three licenses and three affidavits under the program, according to Administrative Assistant Valerie Kollander.

First License Granted

The Bolducs, who received their inaugural license via mail, plan to safeguard it in a filing cabinet. They take pride in being the first to have their rental property inspected and licensed, aptly summarized by Wayne, who remarked, "Pretty cool to be No. 1, wouldn’t you say?"


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