Remote Video Inspections

The Remote Video Inspection (RVI) Program provides an alternative to on-site inspection for situations requiring minor corrections, small amounts of work, or housing reinspections. During the coronavirus crisis, to protect the health and safety of residents and employees, RVI will be the only acceptable inspection method for occupied residential structures, except for major additions/renovations.

What types of work qualify for video inspections:

  • Correction of housing violations
  • Electrical rough in inspections
  • Electrical service inspections
  • Hot water heater inspections
  • Mechanical framing inspections
  • Minor Framing and insulation inspections
  • Most exterior items
  • Plumbing rough in
  • Plumbing re-inspections that required additional work or corrections
  • Roofs
  • Windows
  • Other inspections as determined by Building and Housing Staff

What types of work DO NOT qualify for video inspections:

  • Additions – foundations, large amounts of structural framing, multiple beams
  • Any work the inspector would deem necessary to inspect on site
  • Asphalt and concrete pre-pour and final inspections

Requirements for Remote Inspection

  • To participate, the client must use the Google Duo application on a mobile device to interact with the City building inspector. Download and Install Google Duo from your devices app store:

Google Play iconHow to Install and Setup Duo on Android Devices

Apple app store icon

How to Install and Setup Duo on iPhone & iPad

  • Prior to scheduling, ensure that the necessary tools are available. For example, flashlight for inspection areas with low light, tape measure to verify length, level, GFCI tester and an approved ladder (for close ups of areas with limited access), etc.
  • Mobile device (smartphone, iPad, or other tablet) with reliable data service (4G/LTE internet) OR strong Wi-Fi connection (preferred)
  • Caution: If no Wi-Fi is available cell data is an option. If you have a limited cell data plan your service provider may charge you for data used during the re-inspection.
  • Warning: Older mobile devices or mobile devices with older operating systems and lower resolution cameras may not work properly with the RVI program.

Scheduling a Remote Inspection

Please call to schedule an inspection with the permitting staff (216-491-1461) for permits, or the housing staff for POS (216-491-1471). You will need to provide:

  • Type of inspections required;
  • Either your email address or phone number that is linked to your Google Duo account.

Remote Inspection Process

  • RVI will call your Google Duo account at the requested appointment time. If you do not answer this call, a NO ACCESS inspection result will be issued.
  • Make sure radios, power tools and equipment are not running so that the call audio is clear.
  • Accept the incoming Google Duo call – Tap green button.
  • You should have a view of the City Inspector on your device.
  • You will be instructed to switch to your outward (rear) facing camera.
  • Begin inspection, displaying the outside entrance of the structure.
  • The address must show in the initial view.
  • Follow the directions of the inspector.
  • Walk Inspector thru the project and areas to be inspected.
  • Upon completion of the Google Duo RVI inspection, the inspector will tell you if the inspection is APPROVED. An email copy of the inspection report will also be sent to the contractor who has obtained the permit.
  • The inspector will update RVI inspection results immediately in the permitting system after the Google Duo call is completed.
  • If the RVI inspection is NOT APPROVED – SEE CORRECTIONS.


Reliable wireless data service (internet via phone/device provider) or reliable Wi-Fi connection (preferred).  Ensure your inspection location has strong connectivity and your device is always within range of those services around the whole site. Slower and/or weaker connectivity may not provide the speed and clarity required to complete the inspection. If this is the case, the inspector may change the inspection request status to not-ready, partial, or failed as applicable.

Depending on how your phone is configured you may receive alerts and/or calls during your remote video re-inspection. If you choose to take an outside call before the inspection is complete, then the inspection may be listed as not-ready, partial or no access as applicable and customer will have to set up another appointment for re-inspection through the web-based calendar application. If the connection is lost during the inspection, the inspector will attempt to re-establish connection for up to five minutes after the initial loss of connection. If connection cannot be re-established the inspection result will be NOT APPROVED.

If lighting is inadequate, or the necessary tools (see requirements section above) are not available for the inspection, the inspection will be NOT APPROVED. You will be asked to reschedule.