Landlord, rental compliance problems in Detroit? How to get help

Are you having an issue with a bad landlord or a rental property in the city of Detroit? READ:

Are you having an issue with a bad landlord or a rental property in the city of Detroit?

Help Me Hank has been covering this issue for months, and we’ve compiled some resources for residents who need help.

The first thing to do, if you think you may be part of a landlord scam, check if the property is registered with the city. Click here and check the interactive map to see the current status of rental properties in your neighborhood.

If your rental is not being kept up to code by your landlord, you can request a free inspection from the city.

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.

Rental Property FAQ - What Landlords & Tenants Should Know

Certificate of Rental Registration

A Certificate of Rental Registration is free of charge and is an advantage for landlords when potential tenants are seeking a place to rent. Landlords that are in compliance with the City of Detroit Codes and Ordinances have a greater chance of licensing their property. According to the City of Detroit Property Maintenance Code (Chapter 8), if a dwelling is not an owner-occupied, single-family dwelling, then it is considered residential rental property. Residential rental properties include: 1 and 2-family homes, apartment buildings, rooming houses, etc. as well as rooms rented within a single-family, owner-occupied home. To receive a Certificate of Rental Registration, the owner is required to:

Certificate of Compliance

A Certificate of Compliance is required for all commercial buildings, structures and residential rental properties in the City of Detroit, with the exception of single-family, owner-occupied dwellings. The Certificate of Compliance means, that the property was inspected and meets the minimum requirements of the Detroit Property Maintenance Code and/or Zoning Ordinance. The Certificate of Compliance is valid for three years for 1-2 family homes and two years for multi-family inspection from the date of initial inspection.

To receive a Certificate of Compliance on a Residential rental property or Commercial property, the owner is required to:

  • Have a complete and current inspection of the property that is not older than one (1) year.
  • Complete all repairs listed on the correction order.
  • Call for a re-inspection for verification that the repairs have been completed in a workmanlike manner.
  • Have a valid Certificate of Rental Registration, if applicable.
  • Comply with all provisions of a Special Land Zone Grant, if applicable.
  • Pay all inspection fees that have been assessed.

Find more information on landlords and rental guidelines here from the city.

To report vacant & open, vacant & not maintained, fire damaged, or collapsing structures call 313-224-3215 or email Find more info here from BSED.

Previous report: How the city is working to help Detroiters deal with bad landlords

Are you having an issue with a bad landlord or a rental property in the city of Detroit? READ:

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.