Detroit yard waste collection to resume April 19
Property Maintenance Division is comprised of several sub-divisions and ensures continued compliance for commercial & residential properties. Manages vacant and blighted structures for both commercial & residential buildings. Enforces the Property Maintenance Code & Rental Ordinance.
Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) Tenant Water Services
Water and Sewer – Landlord and Tenant Agreement (LTA)
The LTA is a contract transferring responsibility for the property’s water and sewer bill payment from the landlord to the tenant. DWSD has more information about the LTA on its website.
Department of Public Works Yard Waste and Bulk Collection Service
The Department of Public Works offers special pick-up of debris as well as a very affordable dumpster roll-off service. If you know you will be removing debris from your property, contact DPW to schedule the appropriate bulk pick-up or roll-off service. Also refer to the City’s regular bulk pick-up schedule and requirements.
For more information, contact: Crystal Gilbert-Rogers at [email protected]
Improve Detroit App to Report Illegal Dumping
36th District Court and landlord-tenant cases
Because 36th District Court handles landlord-tenant cases, its judges become important actors in protecting tenants, protecting landlords, and ensuring all are accurately informed of their rights and responsibilities. Before filing an eviction case, you may be required to provide the following documents to proceed with your case:
For the most current information and to contact the 36th District Court directly, visit the Court's website: 36th District Court Landlord-Tenant Division
State of Michigan’s Guide to Tenant/Landlord Rights
This guide, prepared by the State of Michigan Legislature, provides tenants and landlords with information regarding rental housing law, the eviction process, mediation, sample forms for leasing and subleasing and sample letters discussing the roles of each party in repair and maintenance of a rental property.
Local organizations helping tenants locate rental housing
Keeping Illegal Activity out of Rental Property : A Police Guide for Establishing Landlord Training Programs.
The U.S. Department of Justice developed a training guide for police-led landlord education. In this guide, there are tips on performing comprehensive applicant screenings. review Section II page 23 of Keeping Illegal Activity out of Rental Property guide.
Detroit Fire Department - Community Relations Division
Practicing good fire safety habits is critical to keeping your tenants and your property safe. The Detroit Fire Department expects you and your tenants to follow local regulations and fire safety requirements. One of the most common violations that City inspectors find, is nonworking or missing smoke alarms in rental properties. Smoke detectors must be installed near all bedrooms. Maintaining smoke detectors with batteries is the responsibility of both the tenant and owner.
The Detroit Fire Department provides a helpful checklist of things to watch for in your property. Refer to this list, and provide a copy to your tenants to help ensure that all parties understand potential fire safety hazards that can threaten tenant safety and the property.
For other fire safety questions, contact: (313) 596-2900 or [email protected]
To promote fire safety, the U.S. Fire Administration has created a number of outreach materials and educational programs. These materials can be a helpful resource to you as a property owner, and to your tenants. Materials available in English and Spanish
Energy Efficiency Assessment by DTE Energy
Making your property more energy efficient is good for both you and your tenants, helping to reduce utilities costs. DTE provides a number of energy efficiency programs for single-family and multi-family properties, and offers free consultations to learn which energy efficiency upgrades may be most helpful for your property. Advertising your property as more energy efficient is a great way to attract new tenants.
To determine eligibility, visit DTE's website
Weatherization Assistance Program by Wayne Metro
Wayne Metro Community Action Agency offers a free weatherization program available to income-qualified renter and owner-occupied households. This program may help your tenants to reduce their energy consumption and save you or your tenants money on utility bills. Efficiency improvements may include installation of wall or attic insulation, weather stripping around doors and window frames, and more.
To learn more about the program, visit Wayne Metro or call (734) 284-6999.
The Detroit Land Bank Authority (DLBA) sells one- and two-unit properties through its Auction and Own It Now Programs to qualified buyers who can rehabilitate and occupy the property within six months of closing (or nine months for properties within historic districts). You must be current on property taxes, show necessary finances and demonstrate an ability to rehabilitate the property within the required timeframe.
To learn more about available DLBA properties and purchase requirements, visit DLBA'a website
For information on purchasing other publicly available property (e.g. multifamily and commercial) in Detroit, visit the City's Real Estate FAQ page.
The Blight Violation Notice (Ticket) states the specific violation, the date, time, and place that the alleged violation occurred and payment options concerning the fine.
An appearance at a hearing is required to contest the alleged violation. Blight Violation Notices also state the date, time and place of the scheduled hearing. Questions must be directed to the department that issued the violation. If it is believed that the citation was issued by mistake, it is strongly recommended to have all concerns addressed during the scheduled hearing. The consequences of ignoring a Blight Violation Notice may result in an uncontested decision and order of default being issued against the alleged violator.
Contact the Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department (BSE&ED) and ask to speak to the Property Maintenance Division supervisor.
The BSEED Property Maintenance Division reviews complaints regarding the condition of residential, commercial or substandard property. Complaints may be filed by phone or mail with the Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department Property Maintenance Division.
Complaints may include but not are limited to violations of codes, failure to maintain interior and/or exterior property, rodent infestation, inoperable vehicles, failure to remove snow and ice from sidewalks, failure to comply with emergency orders, vacant/open/dangerous buildings and abandoned properties.
To assist in addressing complaints, the following pertinent information is required:
Name, address, and phone number of complainant
Property location and address of problem property
Detail description of the complaint
Submit a Complaint
By Phone - In an effort to serve our customers more efficiently; complaints received over the phone require special attention; which may take the call a little longer. Contact the
By Mail - Correspondence should be mailed to:
ATTN: Property Maintenance Division
BSED will aggressively enforce blight violations. Violators should remember that it’s not enough to pay penalties. Violators must correct problems. If not, a second or third violation may be issued with a higher fine.
• All rental property owners must register their rental property and obtain a Certificate of Compliance. The certificate is proof that an inspection was performed at the property and found to be in a safe and habitable condition.
• All renters are entitled to live in housing that is well maintained and safe. Renters are encouraged to report rental properties that require inspection and repair. Tenants can arrange for an inspection (at no cost to them) by calling (313) 224-2733.
• Smoke detectors must be installed near all bedrooms. Maintaining smoke detectors with batteries is the responsibility of both the tenant and owner.
• Graffiti or other defacing should be removed from buildings and fences to maintain a neat and clean neighborhood.
• Owners and renters are responsible for the cleanliness of the property. If a Blight Violation Notice is issued, the Department of Administrative Hearings (DAH) may order one party to pay the entire fine or may split the fine between the owner and the tenant.
• Landlords, who evict renters, and renters, who have been evicted, have 72 hours to remove any household items or belongings placed at the curb. If the items aren’t taken away, the landlord, the renter, and/or both may be issued a notice and fined.
• Animal waste from dogs, cats, or other pets is solid waste. Residents shouldn’t allow such waste to accumulate on the property.
• Items, such as auto parts, building materials, household items, or commercial equipment, should not be stored in yards.
• Commercial, recreational or inoperable vehicles cannot be stored on residential property.
• Vehicles of any kind cannot be parked on unpaved portions of a yard, including front or back lawns.
The Buildings and Safety Engineering Department (BSED) will aggressively enforce blight violations. Violators should remember that it’s not enough to pay penalties. Violators must correct problems. If not, a second or third violation may be issued with a higher fine.
* Operating a business without a permit (and/or license where required) is illegal. Contact BSED to find out what to do to establish your business legally. Information regarding the installation of signs to advertise your business is available from the department also.
* Changing the use of a building usually involves obtaining a permit. Check with BSED before changing the use of any building or structure.
* Special Land Use Grants permit owners to operate certain businesses under special conditions. These conditions must be met at all times. Failure to adhere to these conditions will result in a violation and possible fine. An annual inspection is conducted to ensure that those conditions are being met.
* Commercial property is subject to an annual inspection. Licenses are approved for renewal only when inspections by BSED certify that the building is safe and fit for the intended use. Owners of commercial properties must obtain a Certificate of Compliance from BSED certifying that the building is safe for occupancy.
* Building exterior condition, including signs, parking lots and unpaved portions of the property, must be maintained in a clean and safe condition.
The Blight Violation Notice states the specific violation, the date, time, and place that the alleged violation occurred and payment options concerning the fine.
An appearance at a hearing is required to contest the alleged violation. The notice will state the date, time and place for your hearing. Questions about why you were cited must be directed to the department that issued the violation. If you believe that you or your property was cited by mistake, you are strongly encouraged to appear for the scheduled hearing. Ignoring a Notice may result in a decision and order of default being entered against you.
A hearing officer’s order can be enforced in the same manner as a judge’s order. It can be used to place a lien on your property, garnish your wages, and/or negatively affect your credit.
All rental property owners in the City of Detroit must register their rental property and obtain a Certificate of Compliance. The certificate is proof that an inspection was performed at the property and found to be in a safe and habitable condition. Forms can be picked up from the following location:
What Is a Wall Report?
Vacant Property Inspection Process
Vacant Property Guidelines
Property Maintenance Division Inspections, Maintenance Requirements and Responsibilities
Map of the primary & secondary commercial corridors
Information about Property Maintenance Code
Lead inspection & assessment of lead hazards
Summary of lead remediation performed
Tax Clearance Form
Commercial Deferral Application
Residential Deferral Application
Maintaining Detroit's Riverfront
Requirements and responsibilities for commercial properties.
An abandoned/dangerous building is a house or any other building that shows serious defects, unsafe conditions, or is vacant and open to trespass.
Rental Property Information
Clarification of requirements for rental property owners in Detroit.
Certificate of Compliance
Regulations for rental property maintenance, inspection and certification.
Real estate escrow means putting something, such as rent money, in the custody of a neutral third party until certain conditions are met.
District Inspectors work closely with district officials to ensure community driven blight concerns are addressed.