City OF DETROIT BSE&E VACANT PROPERTY REGISTRATION ORDINANCE FACT SHEET

Information on this page comes from the city of Detroit's Vacant Property Registration page.

In 2010, the City of Detroit's Property Maintenance Code was amended with a new ordinance called the Vacant Property Registration Ordinance. The information on this page comes from the city's Vacant Property Registration Ordinance fact sheet.

Within thirty (30) days of a building or structure becoming vacant, the Owner of the Vacant Building must register the property with the Buildings, Safety Engineering & Environmental Department. The Owner will receive a Certificate of Registration of Vacant Property and must obtain a Exterior Compliance from the Department.

To receive an Exterior Certificate of Compliance, at a minimum, the Owner must ensure:

    • Grass and weeds are not permitted to grow past eight inches;
    • All dead or broken tree limbs or shrubbery are cut and removed;
    • The interior walkway leading to the main entry and adjoining public sidewalk is kept free from snow;
    • Debris, garbage, and rubbish including mail and flyers do not accumulate;
    • The foundation, basement or crawlspace is maintained in a sound and watertight condition adequate to support the building and prevent entry;
    • Exterior walls are maintained free of holes preventing any interior exposure to the elements;
    • Peeling paint is removed from all exterior surfaces;
    • Exterior windows and doors are maintained in good repair, or openings secured with commercial quality steel security panels or filled with like kind material as the surrounding wall to prevent trespass;
    • Openings less than one foot in area and higher than eight feet off the ground may be boarded with plywood;
    • All exit areas have continuous exterior lighting from dusk to dawn, which may be met by battery or solar powered lighting;
    • A weather protected notice is posted on the side of the structure indicating the name and telephone number of a local contact person regarding the property.


How to Register

The Owner obtains a Vacant Property Registration form from the Property Maintenance Division of the Building, Safety Engineering and Environment Department (Rm. 412, Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, 2 Woodward Ave., Detroit MI 48226), by accessing the BSE&E Department website, or by using this form. Call us at 313-628-2451 and a form can be mailed, e-mailed or faxed to you.

The structure will be registered in the database and the Owner will be sent a Certificate of Vacant Property Registration.


What Will Happen Next?

The Vacant Building will have an Exterior Inspection conducted by a building inspector.

If the Vacant Building is found in compliance with the above requirements, the Owner will be mailed an Exterior Certificate of Compliance and no further action will be necessary for one year, except maintenance of the Vacant Building as set forth above.


What Happen if Violations are Found?

The Owner will be sent a Correction Order with time to come into compliance. For Emergency Violations, the time period is 72 hours. For less urgent violations, the time period is 30 days. After corrections are made, the Owner must call 313-628-2451 to set up a Compliance Reinspection. If the Vacant Building is found in compliance, the Owner will receive an Exterior Certificate of Compliance and no further action will be necessary for one year, except maintenance of the Vacant Building as set forth above.

The Owner will be billed for an Exterior Inspection pursuant to the following schedule:

Gross floor area is less than 5,000 sq ft with violations
$100.00

Compliance Re-inspection

$50.00

Gross floor area is greater than 5,000 sq ft less than 50,000 sq ft with violations

$150.00

Compliance Re-inspection

$75.00

Gross floor area is greater than 50,000 sq ft with violations

$200.00

Re-inspection

$100.00


What Happens if there is No Compliance?

Blight Violations will be issued pursuant to Section 9-1-20 of the Property Maintenance Code:

Failure to Comply with an Emergency Order

$500-$5,000

Failure to Register Vacant Property

$250-$500

Failure to Obtain an Exterior Certificate of Compliance

$250-$1000

Failure to maintain Vacant Building as Required

$500-$3000

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