As a landlord or property manager, there are many requirements that,
because they may seem so obvious, we just don’t think about them. But
ask yourself, “Can a paramedic, firefighter, or policeman find my
tenant’s house quickly—day or night?” Even with GPS-aided dispatch, it
can be hard to figure out which entry doors go to which house during a
typical service call, much less in an emergency. When seconds count,
why risk it?
The safety requirements are that individual homes and suites within
structures shall clearly identify their numeric address (usually near
front/rear exterior entrances or service corridors). The Arabic
numbers or English alphabetic letters must be a minimum of 3 inches
tall and shall be of a color that contrasts with the background of
their mounting surface.
Helpful Tip: The addressing of the mailbox, if within a reasonable
distance from the front entrance door, can suffice—as long as the size
and contrasting color requirements are met. Consider using a strong
flashlight to make sure they are clearly visible from the street at
This is a relatively easy, quick job using simple hand tools (unless
the mounting service is masonry or other difficult to penetrate
cladding). Most hardware aisles have these numbers in stock, just make
sure you get the right sizes and color, and make sure that they will
securely mount to the surface they will be placed on. We suggest
mounting in areas that are easy to spot from the road and which are
mounted near the property entry doors at a level high enough (60-80
inches) to prevent them from being reached by curious children, being
knocked off the wall due to impacts with furnishings and appliances, etc.
Our inspectors check for these requirements during the required rental
inspection—just one of many items that others may overlook because
they are not clearly identified on most rental property inspection
checklists. If we notice a problem--particularly one that increases your
potential liability in a tenant dispute--we’ll discreetly bring that out in
the recommended maintenance items for your consideration. It’s one
more way we help out our fellow landlords.