Detroit Approves Stricter Code Enforcement on Rentals
Good news for Detroiter renters—the Motor City recently approved stricter property ordinances during a meeting this past Tuesday.
The new ordinances would require that landlords get their rental properties up to new code standards within the next two years. With tens of thousands of rental properties in the Detroit Metro area, many of which fall short of the current city codes, the new regulations grant tenants the ability to withhold rental payments from landlords without fearing the eviction process if the property clearly does not meet the city’s guidelines and regulations.
To ensure organized regulation of these new compliances, the city’s Buildings, Safety, Engineering, and Environmental Department has set out to divide the city into zones. They aim to have these zones determined and announced within the next 60 days. Each zone will be organized into a schedule. When the first zone is announced, that area will have six months to bring rental homes up to the new codes. Once the zone’s window has ended, it will be check for compliance. A new zone will be announced in 90-day waves—giving inspectors an opportunity to inspect each zone thoroughly as the windows come to a close.
For those landlords who do not meet the codes after the six-month window, they will no longer be legally allowed to collect rental payments. The tenant’s payments will be placed into an escrow account for a three-month period. If the property still does not meet code after the three-month escrow allotment, the tenant will receive the money back. For landlords that do correct any remaining issues during this period, the escrow funds will be paid out to them upon completion.
“Every Detroiter who is a renter deserves to be able to live in a home that is safe and up to code,” said Mayor Mike Duggan in his statement Tuesday. “And every landlord deserves a fair and efficient city process.”
News Source: http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20171101/news/643766/detroit-city-council-oks-stricter-rental-property-ordinance