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Detroit to crack down on rental properties — starting in this ZIP code By Perry A. Farrell

The city of Detroit is launching a citywide effort to bring all rental units up to code, starting with the 48215 ZIP code.

The citywide program was developed to ensure that every renter in Detroit is living in a property that is safe and up to code by 2020.

There are nearly 40,000 rental properties in the city, the majority of which are not properly registered and have no certificate of compliance.  In 2015, the city launched a process to encourage more landlords to register their properties. Since then, the city has increased its number of registered rental properties from about 2,000 to more than 6,000 to date. 

All rental properties in the first compliance area — ZIP code 48215 on the city’s east side — will have 90 days (May 1) to get properties registered as rentals with the city. Under the new rental property ordinance, building owners will have six months to bring their properties up to code, have them inspected and obtain a certificate of compliance from the city. 

Each month, a new ZIP code will be added, beginning its six-month compliance period. Detroit residents and landlords will have the opportunity to both verify and register their properties bringing them into code compliance.

The schedule for the first six ZIP codes are:

The schedule for the first six ZIP codes:

ZIP code Launch date Registration date Compliance date
48215 Feb. 1, 2018 May 1, 2018 Aug. 1, 2018
48224 March 1, 2018 June 1, 2018 Sept. 1, 2018
48223 May 1, 2019 Aug. 1, 2018 Nov. 1, 2018
48219 June 1, 2018 Sept. 1, 2018 Dec. 1, 2018
48209 July 1, 2018 Oct. 1, 2018 Jan. 1, 2019
48210 Aug. 1, 2018 Nov. 1, 2018

Feb. 1, 2019


In addition: if rentals are not brought into compliance:

  • Tenants will have the option of putting their rent payments in escrow.
  • Landlords will not be able to access escrow funds until they've passed all inspections and receive a certificate of compliance. 
  • If after 90 days the landlord does not obtain a certificate of compliance, the rent held in escrow will be returned to the tenant, and then every 60 days after that.

The city will have the ability to withhold certificates of compliance to landlords who are more than one year delinquent on their property taxes.

Landlords will not be able to evict any tenant of a non-compliant building solely for withholding rent

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