According to an article by Kurt Nagl at Crain’s Detroit, the City of Detroit has issued more than 1,000 code violation tickets in the 48215 zip code as part of city’s push to bring rental properties into compliance. Some properties received two tickets – one for code non compliance and one for improper lead abatements.
The city is looking to bring the condition of housing stock to a higher standard and ensure that homes will be safe and healthy environments for families looking to rent. This is a valiant effort by the city to improve the rate of compliance. For example, 52 of the approximately 500 landlords in the 48215 zip code are compliant this year – tripling last year’s number of 17 compliant landlords in the area.
However, this is only the crust of task being faced by the Building Safety Engineering and Environmental Department at the City of Detroit. “Of more than 60,000 rental properties in the city, only around 800 are compliant” says department Director Dave Bell. While there are many strides left to be taken, the city pushes on towards bringing rental properties into compliance.
In addition to the crackdown on noncompliance, the city is offering tenants in the current enforcement zip codes an opportunity to escrow their rent money until their rental property receives a certificate of compliance. Managed by PNC Bank, the city has installed 45 DivDat kiosks for renters to submit their rent into escrow. The kiosks also provide means to pay taxes and water, sewage, and energy bills. Landlords can recover the rent in escrow if the certificate of compliance is obtained within 90 days of the escrow account opening. If the certificate is not granted within that time-frame, then the renter is repaid their rent.