Commercial Properties

Property Maintenance Division Commercial Inspections, Requirements and Responsibilities


What is a commercial Property?

By definition  a Commercial property is any business, non-profit organization, church, government agency and other such institution which cannot be classified as residential building, including residential building containing five (5) or more household units (Sec. 8-15-4).


  1. Inspections are required annually / biennially on Commercial property.
  2. Inspections are made to ascertain compliance with the Property Maintenance Code, the Zoning Ordinance, the Michigan Building Code and any requirements of a Special Land Use Grant.
  3. Other inspections may be required depending upon the type of business being conducted on the property, such as:
    • Business License
    • Special Land Use
    • Signs License
    • Wall and Stack inspections
    • Plumbing Cross-connection
    • Refrigeration
    • Elevators
    • Boilers and Pressure Vessels
    • Electrical
    • Fire Alarm Systems
    • Hazardous materials
  4. Annual inspections for property maintenance may be scheduled by phoning (313) 628-2451 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday.
  5. A Certificate of Compliance is required biennially (2 yrs) for all commercial buildings and structures in the City of Detroit, whether Active or Vacant.  Annual Certificates of Compliance are issued only upon full compliance with the Property Maintenance Code and payment of the inspection fee. Certificates of Maintenance of Grant Conditions are required annually for properties with Special Land Use Grants. Property Maintenance Division Inspections, Requirements and Responsibilities

Nature Of Inspections

  1. Structural
    • Structural components
    • Exterior/Interior surfaces
    • Means of egress
    • Stairways/ladder ways
    • Hoist ways / shafts
    • Foundations
    • Fire/Safety equipment
    • Windows/Doors
    • Roof/ roof structures
    • Building/Land Use
      • Legal use and occupancy
      • Grant conditions
      • Off-Street Parking
      • Landscaping
      • Signage
      • Safety requirements
      • Screening/Fencing
      • Security of vacant buildings
      • Eradication of nuisance and blight conditions
      • Plumbing systems*
      • Electrical systems*
      • Heating, Ventilation systems*

* Electrical, plumbing and mechanical deficiencies discovered are referred to the proper agencies as needed. Separate Annual electrical, plumbing and mechanical inspections may be required for annual licensing of certain businesses


All inspections and processes are conducted in accordance with the provisions of the City of Detroit Property Maintenance Code, Chapter 8 of the Detroit City Code, as well as the City of Detroit Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 50 of the Detroit City Code. These matters are enforced as Blight Violations in accordance with Chapter 1, Section 1-1-9, of the Detroit City Code as amended. The Buildings, Safety Engineering, and Environmental Department is continuously vigilant for violations of codes and ordinances related to the maintenance of all properties within the City of Detroit. The City of Detroit Department of Administrative Hearings adjudicates tickets for Blight Violations. An Administrative Hearing Officer levies fines upon findings of 'Responsible' and civil remedies are applied to affect collection of judgments, including liens, garnishments, seizures and other such actions as permitted by law.

Our Business Community Is Vital To The City’s Health And Wellbeing

Safe, attractive and healthy business locations are key to the city’s growth and development.

Responsibilities Of Owners

  • Maintain the physical structure and environs in a safe, clean, attractive and healthy manner pursuant to Chapter 8 of the Detroit City Code
  • Make repairs and violation corrections in a timely manner
  • Observe requirements for legal occupancy and use
  • Maintain current certificates and license RESPONSIBILITIES OF TENANTS
  • Use the facilities properly
  • Allow inspectors, owner and workmen reasonable access
  • Keep property clean and promptly notify the owner of needed repairs
  • Maintain equipment and fixtures in safe condition

Responsibilities Of The Community

  • BUY DETROIT!!!! Support local businesses whenever possible
  • Monitor vacant properties
  • Report deteriorating and open buildings to the Buildings, Safety Engineering, and Environmental Department
  • Report trespass and vandalism to the Police
  • For Commercial and Zoning Complaints: