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News from the City Government

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All Rental Properties in 48215 Now Must Be Registered; Online Interactive Map Shows Which Are - And Which Aren’t

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  • 302 rental properties have registered in 48215 as part of city’s effort to get all rentals registered and in compliance by the end of 2020
  • Interactive compliance status map available at www.detroitmi.gov/rental
  • Data from additional ZIP codes will be added monthly as each deadline passes

All rental properties in ZIP Code 48215 must now be registered with the City of Detroit, their first step toward getting in compliance with city codes and approved to rent by August 1st. 

Under a revised rental ordinance passed last year by Detroit City Council, the Building Safety, Engineering & Environmental Department (BSEED), is moving across the city ZIP code by ZIP code, starting with rental properties in 48215.  May 1st was the deadline for the all rental properties in the Detroit's first compliance ZIP code - 48215 - to register their properties with the city.   On June 1, information on 48224 will be added as its rental registration deadline passes and additional ZIP codes will be added based on BSEED’s compliance schedule.

As of May 1 deadline, 302 rental properties in 48215 have registered with the city, approximately 90% of the known or suspected rental properties in that ZIP code, according to BSEED Director David Bell.  These rental properties have until August 1 to obtain a certificate of compliance from the City to be approved as a rental property.   All properties in the city will need to be complaint by the end of 2020.

“We are committed to getting all rental properties in registered and in compliance, but we’re going to need the public’s help to identify the ones we don’t know about,” said Mayor Mike Duggan.  “Our goal is to make sure every renter is living in a safe, well-maintained building.”


Interactive Map shows registered rentals properties

To let renters know whether the property in which they live is registered as a rental, the city has launched a new interactive online map at www.detroitmi.gov/rental that provides the current registration and compliance status of all properties.  Initially, only ZIP code 48215 will be highlighted on the map since it was the first to reach its deadline for rentals to be registered. 

 “We encourage anyone living in a rental property within 48215 to look at the website to see if their property is registered,” said Bell.  “If it isn’t we have provided a simple form they can fill out anonymously to let us know and we will follow up.”

The maximum penalty for not being registered under the new ordinance is $250 for each day beyond the deadline.  If a property is not in compliance by its deadline, the tenants will have the ability to place their rent into an escrow account.  Those funds will not be released to the landlord until they have obtained a certificate of compliance within 90 days of being escrowed. 

The online map also shows the current registration and compliance status of properties outside of 48215, although they are not required to be compliant under the new ordinance until their ZIP code comes up on the compliance BSEED schedule.  The data on the map is updated daily.

“These changes will help us protect the thousands of Detroiters who rent and to make stronger neighborhoods for everyone,” said Councilman Spivey, who sponsored the revised rental ordinance.


The schedule for the first six ZIP codes is as follows:

ZIP CODE

Launch Date

Registration Date

Compliance Date

48215

February 1, 2018

May 1, 2018

August 1, 2018

48224

March 1, 2018

June 1, 2018

September 1, 2018

48223

May 1, 2018

August 1, 2018

November 1, 2018

48219

June 1, 2018

September 1, 2018

December 1, 2018

48209

July 1, 2018

October 1, 2018

January 1, 2018

49210

August 1, 2018

November 1, 2018

February 1, 2018


Road signage to highlight registration deadlines

To help encourage compliance, the city also will be placing large 2-by-3 foot signs along key corridors entering 48215 notifying passersby that “all rental properties in this zip code should be registered by now” and directing them to the rental website.  Smaller lawn signs also will be placed throughout each ZIP code as its registration date passes.


Protections for tenants under new ordinance:

  • The ability for tenants to pay rent into an escrow account if the landlord does not obtain a certificate of compliance by the end of the six-month compliance period. Those funds will be inaccessible to the landlord until they have 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 ability for the city to withhold certificates of compliance to landlords who are more than one-year delinquent on their property taxes.
  • Creation of a public website that will let the public know whether properties are registered with the city as a rental and, if so, whether it has a certificate of compliance
  • Landlords will not be able to evict any tenant of a non-compliant building solely for withholding rent.

 Support for good landlords:

  • The city will provide landlords an expedited process for appealing the denial or suspension of a certificate of compliance.
  • Less frequent inspections required for quality landlords who, for at least one year, have remained current on their taxes and have received no blight violations. The ordinance would extend certifications from one year to two years for multi-family dwellings and to three years for one- and two-family dwellings.
  • Maintaining annual lead risk assessments. Under the ordinance, all rental properties — even those with two- or three-year certifications — will require an annual lead risk assessment and clearance. The annual assessment can be waived only if the property owner has taken more long-term or permanent measures to abate the lead.

“We’ve got to increase the quality of life for the neighbors and the tenants in the city of Detroit,” said Bell, director of the Buildings, Safety Engineering & Environmental Department. “We can’t do that without getting rid of unnecessary requirements and providing an adequate amount of time for the landlord’s to come into compliance. This ordinance creates a win for everyone and moves the neighborhoods forward.”

Inspection Timelines

Bell pointed out that while compliance efforts will be conducted a ZIP code at a time, his inspectors still will respond to complaints of health and safety violations citywide as they arise. He also said his team will be able to conduct inspections in the active enforcement zone within four days of a request. Requests for inspections that fall outside of the active enforcement zone will be conducted within 30 days. To prepare for this, the City has added seven additional inspectors and partnered with four outside inspection companies to get inspections done in a timelier manner.


Getting Certified: How to get started

Owners of rental buildings can start their process today by registering their property online at http://www.detroitmi.gov/rental. You may also register in person at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, 2 Woodward Avenue, Suite 412 in downtown Detroit. To help owners registered of one- and two-family rental buildings get their inspections done as soon as possible, the city has listed on this website the names and contact information for the private company partners that have been approved to do that work.  City BSEED staff will continue to conduct all inspections at larger multi-unit apartment buildings.

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