Rental Requirements FAQ

What if I already have a tenant living in my rental property, but am not registered or do not have a Certificate of Compliance? What must I do as a landlord?
  • Owners of rental property must register their property with BSEED and obtain a rental registration certificate on an annual basis.(2) The registration certificate must be posted on the property premises or made available upon request.
  • Owners of rental property must also obtain, before the property can be occupied:
    1. a Lead-Clearance Report for properties built before 1978.(3)
    2. a Certificate of Compliance issued by BSEED (4)
  • Owners must be current on property taxes and have no outstanding blight violations (5) for their rental property in order to obtain a Certificate of Compliance.
    Examples of some common blight violations
  • A Certificate of Compliance is issued on the condition that the premises remain in safe, healthful, and fit condition for occupancy.(6)

(2) Detroit City Code, Section 8-15-81(a) ; (3) Detroit City Code, Section 8-15-82(g) ; 
(4) Detroit City Code, Section 8-15-82(d) ; (5) A blight violation is any unlawful act, or any omission or failure to act, which is designated by the 2019 Detroit City Code as a blight violation pursuant to Section 4l(2) of the Michigan Home Rule Cities Act. ; (6) MCL 125.530(2)

What happens if I don’t obtain or maintain a valid Certificate of Compliance?
  • Violations of the rental registry ordinance, including any failure to register rental property, are considered blight violations, or “blight tickets."(7)
  • Properties must be properly maintained to keep a valid Certificate of Compliance. If an interim inspection reveals a violation that threatens the health or safety of the tenant, the Certificate of Compliance must be suspended immediately. (8) (7) Detroit City Code, Section 8-15-36; (8) MCL 125.530(2); (9) MCL 125.530(3)
What if I transfer my rental property to a new owner?
  • When rental property is sold or transferred to a new owner, the new owner must register and apply for a new rental registration certificate.(10)
  • Transferring your property does not eliminate your obligation to pay any fees and fines assessed during the time you owned the property.

(10) Detroit City Code, Section 8-15-81

What is BSEED responsible for?
  • BSEED must inspect rental property at least once a year. (11)
  • BSEED may perform additional inspections upon request by the occupants or public, based on a complaint or direct observation of substandard or deteriorated physical condition. (11)

(11) Detroit City Code, Section 8-15-34;