Housing Conservation Inspection

What's happening in our built environment.
What a scam this department is. Just another way to get $150 out of families.

Just moved into a house and get a letter in the mail that we need to have the Conservation Inspection done...$90 if it's before you move in...$150 after.

First: thanks to our real estate agent for letting us know about this (he didn't).
Second: It was already lived in...are they really checking for major work done on the place that may not have had proper permits?
Third: They guy talked and talked about how it's just a safety check out of concern for families in StL. He talked about how college kids remove the smoke detectors in kitchens because they keep going off. He said how it's one of his highest priorities....but he NEVER CHECKED OURS!
Fourth: we were obviously doing some renovations...replacing the carpet with hardwood and changing lights, new washer/dryer hookups, etc. One ceiling light hadn't come in yet so there were wires hanging out....where no one could touch them (on the ceiling), the wires were not exposed (they were taped), and the breaker was off. Yet, he writes us up for it. It was clear that it was a temporary situation and I explained it to him...nope, not listening.

What's the point of this scam? Is it really to check for major work that didn't have permits? He only took measurements of each room and checked one smoke detector out of the two. There are so many safety things that he didn't check.
Is this new? We had an occupancy permit done when we bought our house and there were many things that technically shouldn't have passed (the inspector before we bought the house mentioned several) yet had no issues moving in. That was 3 years ago
Looks like this is the same as an occupancy permit. Perhaps this inspector is more zealous than others though.

https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/d ... vation.cfm
Yea that's what we had done. Garage wasn't up to code at all (we knew and got plenty of credit at closing for it) and we were wondering if it would pass with it being attached to the house. He didn't even go into the attic which had some electrical violations for sure. We got it all fixed either way just was surprised how lax our inspector was
Yes: Occupancy Permit

I just notified him that the light was installed and asked when he wanted to come out to check.

He just asked for a picture emailed to him. I could've taken any pic from the web....

Just another 'tax' for living in the city...
MTBE wrote:
Yes: Occupancy Permit

I just notified him that the light was installed and asked when he wanted to come out to check.

He just asked for a picture emailed to him. I could've taken any pic from the web....

Just another 'tax' for living in the city...


Don't cities in the county have occupancy permit inspections as well?
I may be wrong -- usually am! -- but I believe the need for a Housing Conservation Inspection is just for homes located within a Housing Conservation District. How much of the city falls under one, I am not sure.
I think for StL it is something like 98%....
I didn't get this done and neither did the previous owner of my house (bought in 2003 and 2010). It's not a scam, but I also don't think they really check up on it. I did have a home inspection done by that was on my own as part of the home purchase. My neighbor also didn't get one done when he bought his in 2011.
flipz wrote:
Don't cities in the county have occupancy permit inspections as well?


Some do, some don't. Against my better judgment I looked in Crestwood a little before buying in the city. (My parents live there. Sadly.) Crestwood does not. Some places do. Others apparently do not. But the historic stuff is another matter.
symphonicpoet wrote:
flipz wrote:
Don't cities in the county have occupancy permit inspections as well?


Some do, some don't. Against my better judgment I looked in Crestwood a little before buying in the city. (My parents live there. Sadly.) Crestwood does not. Some places do. Others apparently do not. But the historic stuff is another matter.


I guess that makes sense. Not every little city would be able to afford staff for that unless they hired it out.

To get back to the scam part, I just remembered that I talked to one of my vendors a few years back and he was telling me that he had to bribe an inspector to get the pass on his business building inspection. This guy is in his 60s and had a business in the city some (long) time ago. No way of verifying his story but he had no reason to make that up and I have no reason to doubt it.
Yeah, I definitely didn't get one of these when I moved into my condo seven years ago. Doesn't seem to have caused me any problems (yet). I do wonder if the city is being better about enforcing the need for these though, as I've heard about more than a few new neighbors getting city inspections lately.
Code inspections are not scams or ripoffs; they're for the protection of homeowners and neighborhoods.

When I bought my house in U City a few years ago, I had to get an occupancy inspection. They found some previous renovations had been done without a permit, and not up to code, so I had to fix those issues before I could move in.

I was happy to get the work done, and feel much more secure now knowing that my house is safe. I'm also glad to know that my neighbors' homes are also maintained and up to code, as it helps protect my property values as well.
These inspections came up at a condo board meeting I was at last night. One of the units in our building has a dryer vent that simply goes into a wall cavity -- it doesn't vent to the outside. Obviously you can't catch everything, but we were surprised this hadn't been caught by an inspection at some point.