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The information on this page comes from the city's Rental Dwellings Ordinance fact sheet. Further information on the rental property ordinance and compliance can be found on BSEED's Information page.


  1. Owners of residential dwellings, rooms or apartments other than their primary residence must register with B&SE.
  2. A completed registration form must be submitted for each residential dwelling not occupied by the owner, whether occupied or vacant.
  3. Registration forms are available in room 402 of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, at Neighborhood City Halls and at Police Mini-stations, on the BSEED Department website, or use this online form.
  4. Certificates of Compliance must be posted on the premises or made available upon request.
  5. Certificates of Registration are issued free of charge upon registration of the property.
  6. Certificates of Rental Registration must be posted on the premises.
  7. A new rental registration is required upon the sale or transfer of the property to a new owner.
  8. The Buildings, Safety Engineering, and Environmental Department maintains a registry of owners and locations of rental units.


  1. Inspections are required annually on rental property.
  2. Inspections are conducted to verify compliance with the City of Detroit Property Maintenance Code, the Zoning Ordinance and other ordinances, which pertain to the maintenance of structures and environs.
  3. NEW! Owners are required to obtain a lead risk assessment report and submit a lead clearance certificate to this department prior to receiving a Certificate of Compliance. A list of Risk Assessors is available at the department or by visiting the State of Michigan website.
  4. To arrange for an inspection, call (313) 628-2451.
  5. Inspection reports are available upon request.
  6. A Certificate of Compliance is required annually for all rental dwellings in the City of Detroit, whether occupied or vacant. The Department may issue Temporary Certificates of Compliance when the building is deemed safe, is found to be in substantial compliance with the Property Maintenance Code and upon payment of the inspection fee. Annual Certificates of Compliance are issued only upon full compliance with the Property Maintenance Code and payment of the inspection fee. For emergency conditions only or exterior conditions only, the department also offers conditional Certificates of Compliance.
  7. Certificates of Compliance must be posted on the premises or made available upon request.


To the Owner:

  • Serves as an annual report on the condition of the rental property.
  • Controls maintenance costs through early identification of defects.
  • Improve property value as well as tenant satisfaction and retention.
  • Neighborhood stabilization.

To the Tenant:

  • Identifies available rental housing by type and location.
  • Provides access to owners and/or agents of rental properties.
  • Ensures rental housing is safe and acceptable for occupancy.
  • Reduces the inconvenience of deferred maintenance.
  • Minimizes the need for seeking help in effectuating repairs.
  • Enhances health and safety of occupants.

Nature of Inspections

  • Paint
  • Roof
  • Plaster
  • Porches & Stairs
  • Walls/Ceilings
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Floors
  • Foundations
  • Windows
  • Doors/ Safe Exits
  • Fire safety
  • Auxiliary Buildings
  • Chimneys
  • Light/Ventilation
  • Lead safe housing


  • Dangerous exposed wiring
  • Overloading of circuits
  • Excessive use of extension cords
  • Lighting and receptacle defects
  • Adequacy of water supply (Hot & Cold)
  • Leaky pipes and faucets
  • Defective fixtures
  • Obstructed sewers and drains
  • Water heater safety devices and venting Gas piping

  • Inoperative or defective equipment
  • Blocked or obstructed chimneys, ductwork
  • Equipment clearances to combustible items

  • Overcrowding and occupancy issues
  • Junk & debris
  • Vermin
  • Improper storage of refuse
  • Fencing
  • Yards, walkways, driveways and off-street parking


All inspections and processes are conducted in accordance with the provisions of the City of Detroit Property Maintenance Code, Chapter 9 of the Detroit City Code, as well as the City of Detroit Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 61 of the Detroit City Code. These matters are enforced as Blight Violations in accordance with Chapter 1, Section 1-1-9, of the Detroit City Code as amended. The Buildings, Safety Engineering, and Environmental Department is continuously vigilant for violations of codes and ordinances related to the maintenance of all properties within the City of Detroit. The City of Detroit Department of Administrative Hearings adjudicates tickets for Blight Violations. An Administrative Hearing Officer levies fines upon findings of 'Responsible' and civil remedies are applied to affect collection of judgments, including liens, garnishments, seizures and other such actions as permitted by law.

Owner & Renters Need Each Other



  • Make repairs in a timely manner
  • NEW! Obtain a Lead Clearance Certificate
  • Arrange for inspectors’ entry to tenant's space
  • Maintain valid registration and inspection certificates


  • Use facilities properly
  • Avoid overcrowding
  • Keep property clean and promptly notify the owner of needed repairs
  • Allow inspector owner or workmen reasonable access


  • Monitor vacant properties
  • Report deteriorating and open buildings to the Buildings, Safety Engineering, and Environmental Department
  • Report trespass and vandalism to the Police

For Rental Dwelling Complaints Call: 313-628-2451

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