Detroit cracks down on slumlords

The City of Detroit is going after any landlord who is not up to code on their rental properties.

Mayor Duggan announced a new initiative that will have to be passed by City Council.

The goal is to have up 50,000 properties up to code in the next two years.

"There are not many blocks in this city where the neighbors won't say, ‘There is a rental property on my block where they just don't care. Trash cans are being left out. Grass isn't being cut. Building isn't being maintained. What are you going to do about it?’" said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan

One component is making sure all rental properties are registered, bringing fines between $250 and $1500 on those who don't comply.

Therefore, some extra help is being brought in to make that process easier for landlords and not overload city inspectors.

"We have identified and certified three private inspection companies. Any landlord in this city can go to any of those companies and that private company can come in and do the certification."

City leaders also tell Fox 2 they've been noticing a lot of evictions when rental properties are not up to code. If passed, this ordinance would bring an end to that as well.

"There are evictions when buildings are not up to code, but they cannot be evicted for withholding their rent," said David Bell, Director of BSEED.

On the flip side, there will be incentives for landlords who are following the rules.

"If a landlord passes an inspection and has had no violations from Building and Safety from the last year, that landlord can get certified for three years,” said Mayor Duggan. “That means they don't have to come back and do another inspection for three years as long as they don't have any new tenant complaints or anything else."

Andre Spivey will make the pitch to his fellow council members next week with a revised version of this proposal that will have more teeth for tenants.

"And I was asked the question, “’Is this a “come and get you” ordinance?’ This is not coming to get you, but we are being in compliance,” said Councilman Spivey.

If approved by City Council, this new initiative could go into effect on July 1st.

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