City of Detroit files lawsuits in effort to crack down on slumlords who rent dangerous homes

Landlords named may own 1,000+ homes


DETROIT – The city of Detroit filed three lawsuits Wednesday against landlords who buy dangerous homes and rent them without addressing issues, officials said.

The lawsuits were against Steve and Stephen Hagerman, a father and son pair from West Bloomfield; Michael Kelly, of Grosse Pointe Woods; and Salameh Jaser, of Dearborn.

According to officials, the landlords may own more than 1,000 blighted properties in Detroit and have received thousands of tickets from building inspectors.

The lawsuits ask that the court declare the landlords’ business models a public nuisance, compel the owners to maintain their properties and prohibit them from buying more properties until they are in compliance.

Officials said numerous landlords buy properties in the city that are not safe and proceed to rent them without following laws, particularly those pertaining to lead.

“Our lawsuits mark the beginning of a new effort to address the grave danger of lead in Detroit, among other housing related issues,” said Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia. “They have demonstrated no respect for the safety of the persons living on their land, and their business model presents an unreasonable danger to the renting public in Detroit. Detroit’s citizens deserve better.”

Read the lawsuits below:

About the Author: