Rental Housing

Rental Housing Services

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​​Welcome to the City of Ann Arbor Rental Housing Services Web page.  Our office inspects all residential rental units in accordance with the Housing Code: Chapter 105.  Within this page you will find answers to the following questions:

The function of Rental Housing Services is:

1. To protect the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the City of Ann Arbor;

2. To protect a diverse housing stock from deterioration; and

3. To accomplish all of the above at the lowest possible housing cost to owners and renters while maintaining code compliance.

How we assist our clients:

Rental Housing Services is a bridge between owner/agents/management companies and tenants.  Our office conducts inspections on all residential rental units within the City of Ann Arbor every 30 months.  We issue certificates of compliance for each property as a result of passing each inspection.   

How do I convert my home into a rental property?

1. Complete and submit a property regis​​tration form​ to our office.  There is a $25 registration fee for all properties with more than 2 units and all group quarters. 

2. After the form is processed we will contact the designated party to schedule an inspection.
    a.  As long as you have an inspection scheduled, you are allowed to rent the property.
    b.  See the pre-inspection checklist ​for the items to be inspected.
    c.  An invoice will be generated and sent to the designated party.  See fee schedule for information on how this is calculated.
3. An inspection will occur.  If there are violations, the inspector will provide the representative on site a written list of violations found.
4.  Once the violations have been corrected, you may contact our office to schedule a reinspection or one will be scheduled for you according to our schedule.  
    a.  We do not accept photos of corrected items.
5.  We will conduct a reinspection.  If the violations are not corrected you will need another reinspection. 
    a.  We will post the property as not habitable after two reinspections if the violations have not been remedied. 
6.  If all of the violations have been corrected our office will issue a certificate of compliance within 30 days.

How/When do I file a complaint?

If you believe there are code violations within your unit/property you may contact our office to file a complaint.  We cannot advise anyone on the legal rights to stop payments of rent or termination of rent and lease contracts.  We do not have the ability to test for mold, radon, etc.  The inspectors can only cite items they can see upon inspection.  The process is as follows:

1. You must first contact your landlord/management company and give them adequate time to make the necessary corrections.  We cannot accept a complaint if you have not contacted your landlord.
2. If the concern has is not resolved by the landlord in a timely manner the tenant may contact our office to file a complaint.  The following information will be required:  Name, phone number and address of complainant; specific issues you feel are a code violation (must be specific because the inspector can only inspected what is on the complaint); time frame in which you notified you landlord.
3.  Our office will notify the landlord of the complaint.  The landlord will be required to submit a plan of action to be completed by the deadline (typically within 24 hours for life-safety issues or 72 hours for non-emergency issues).  The landlord will be required to notify our office, within the timeframe provided, to report the status of the issue(s). 
4.  We will then contact the complainant to verify the issue(s) are resolved. 

5.  If there is still a problem and/or the violation persist, an inspector will contact the complainant to conduct an inspection.
    a.  There is a fee assessed to the landlord for each inspection conducted where valid code violations are found.
6.  If the violation is still not corrected within the time frame provided by the inspector, the property will be posted as not habitable (see section on not habitable postings for more information) until the violation(s) are remedied.

What do I do if I be​lieve I have mold in my unit?

Our office cannot test nor recommend anyone to test for mold.  If we can physically see the mold, w​​e will contact the owner/agent and require them to bleach and/or use mold killing paint on any surface that will allow.  For further information regarding mold/mildew issues, please contact the Washtenaw County Health Department at 734-222-3800.

What does it mean if my property is posted as not habitable?

1. Our office will post properties as not habitable for a few reasons.

    a.  The owner/agent failed to meet the inspector at a designated inspection 2 or more times.
    b.  The owner/agent failed to make the necessary corrections cited on an inspection after 2 or more reinspections.
    c.  The owner/agent has failed to register the property as rental after repeated attempts to contact them via US Postal Service.
2.  As a tenant, you are not required to leave the unit/building (if posted for the above reasons), but you can put your rent money in escrow until the posting is removed by the City of Ann Arbor Rental Housing Inspector.
    a.  Contact Legal Services to learn more about this process.
3.  As an owner/agent, you may not remove the posting under any circumstances.  You are required to contact our office ASAP to schedule an inspection.  Our office will conduct the required inspection and if all of the violations have been remedied then the posting will be removed by the inspector.
4.  Very rarely a building/unit is posted for life safety violations that may require the tenant(s) to vacate the premises.  You will be notified by our office if this is the case.

How/when do I change owner/agent information with your office?

You must complete and submit the property registration form (PDF) to our office within 30 days of any contact information changes regarding rental properties.  These changes may include: ownership, phone, email, address, agent information, etc.  There is a $25.00 registration fee for all properties with more than 2 units and all group quarters (fraternity/sorority or rooming house).  Supplying our office with the correct information will enable us to contact you regarding of your property thus eliminating any missed appointments, fees and other avoidable issues.  It will also enable us to contact you if there are emergencies with the property such as flood or fire.  All of the information on the registration form is used for office use only.  We do not sell nor do we provide anyone with phone numbers, dates of birth and/or email addresses.

AGENT REQUIREMENTS:  You must reside or live within 25 miles of the rental property.  If you do not, you are required to have a local agent.  An agent can be the tenant, friend or family member, or a hired management company as long as they reside within 25 miles of the property and are willing to be the point of contact.

When and how do I pay for my inspection?

Once an inspection is scheduled an invoice is generated.  Your initial (first inspection of the cycle) inspection invoice will be generated prior to your inspection.  Any follow up inspections are billed once the property is certified.  Please do not mail in payment without first having received an invoice.  You may pay your invoice online at:  Pay Invoice.  You will need to have your customer number and your billing zip code available.

How are the certificate of compliance expiration dates calculated?

The certificate expiration dates are 30 months from certificate expiration established during the last inspection cycle.  Expiration dates are not calculated based on the last inspection conducted.  The exceptions to this procedure are first time rentals.  In this instance, the certificate will expire 30 months from the initial (first) inspection.  For example, if your last certificate expired on March 1, 2011 and you had an inspection on August 18, 2011 that passed.  Your next certificate of compliance would expire on September 1, 2013 NOT February 2014. 

How do I verify there are permits obtained for work or that there have been inspections on my rental property?

You can check all permit and rental information on the permit tracking system called ETrakIt.  Click on "permits", then in the "search string" field type the address (do not use punctuation or ST, DR. or AVE).  For instance, for 1601 N. Main St, type 1601 N Main and click search.  Once the permits come up, double click on any one to see the information.  All building permit records go back to April 2001.  All rental records begin with a "CR" and have attachments dating back to the 1980s.

Resources fo​r Tenants:​

Resources for Owner/Agents/Landlords:

Useful Links 

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Contact Information

Building and Rental Services Manager Lisha Turner-Tolbert 734.794.6000 x42669

For scheduling needs and general information, please contact:
Administrative Specialist for Rental Services

Korrine Palmer 734.794.6000 x42666

Zachary Waas Smith 734.794.6000 x42667

NOTE:  The Rental inspectors are available in the office, daily, from 8:00 - 8:30 am for questions and otherwise by appointment only.

Rental Housing: 734.794.6264

301 E. Huron Street
Larcom City Hall
First Floor
Permit Desk:

Monday - Friday
8 AM - 5 PM

Fax: 734.994.8460