Rental Housing Laws in Ann Arbor


header image
Skip Navigation LinksHome » Departments » City Clerk » Boards and Commissions » Renter's Commission » Rental Housing Laws in Ann Arbor

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Rental Housing Laws in Ann Arbor

​​Chapter 105: Housing Code is the section of Ann Arbor City Code that outlines all of the rules for rental units. The Rental Housing Services Department of the City of Ann Arbor enforces the rules outlined in Chapter 105.  For more information about Rental Housing Services visit their webpage​. ​​

Chapter 112: Non-Discrimination Ordinance this ordinance requires that no one be denied housing because of their actual or perceived age, arrest record, color, disability, educational association, ethnicity, familial status (e.g., having children), family responsibilities, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, height, HIV status, marital status, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, source of income (e.g., using housing vouchers), veteran status, being a victim of domestic violence or stalking, or weight. ​

Recent Updates to Chapter 105

​​Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detection

The City of Ann Arbor requires Carbon Monoxide detection in registered rental units. Carbon monoxide detection requirements take effect on July 6, 2023. View the requirements here.​

Early Leasing Ordinance (ELO) and Right to Renew Ordinance (RTR)

What is the Early Leasing Ordinance (ELO)?
  • ELO tells landlords when they can start showing occupied units to prospective tenants
      • ELO tells landlords when they must provide current tenants with the terms and conditions (parties, lease term, rental unit address, and amount of rent) of a successive lease
      • Notice must specify the deadline for current tenant(s) to accept a successive lease
    • Notice must be provided to the tenant by email and U.S. mail or personal delivery

Right to Renew Ordinance

What is the Right to Renew Ordinance?

  • Right to Renew requires landlords to make a good faith offer (in writing) to current tenants unless the landlord has good cause not to renew.
  • If a landlord is not offering a successive lease, they must notify the tenant in writing and include the grounds for good cause.
  • If a landlord does not offer a successive lease, or show good cause not to renew, relocation assistance is mandated.ELO RTR Guide.PNG

Filing Complaints

The City of Ann Arbor's Rental Housing Services Department inspects all residential rental units in accordance with the Housing Code: Chapter 105.  Chapter 105 outlines all of the rules that must be followed for residential rental units.  Rental Housing Services accepts, responds to, and investigates complaints.   Visit Rental Housing Service's Tenant Resources page for more information. 

Filing a Rental Housing Complaint: 

Steps to file a complaint: 

  1. ​Contact the landlord and give them enough time to fix the problem. 
  2. If the landlord does not fix the problem in a reasonable amount of time, the tenant can file a complaint with Rental Housing Services. To file a complaint,  the tenant should contact Janet Farrell at [email protected] or  734-794-6000, ext. 42680.  Be sure to have the following information available when making a complaint:  Tenant's name,  tenant's phone number and address, specific issue(s) believed to be a code violation, and the date the tenant contacted the landlord.​
  3. Rental Housing Services staff will notify the landlord of the complaint. Then the landlord will have a deadline to fix the problem. A typical deadline for a life-safety issue is 24 hours. A typical deadline for a non-emergency issue is 72 hours. ​The landlord must tell Rental Housing Services after they've fixed the problem. 
  4. Rental Housing Services will contact the tenant to check if the landlord fixed the problem. 
  5. If the landlord did not fix the problem, a City of Ann Arbor Rental Housing Services inspector will contact the tenant to schedule an inspection. 
  6. If the problem  is still not fixed after the inspection, the property will be posted as not habitable until the landlord fixes the problem. 
  7.  If you believe there is a leasing ordinance violation complete the Early Leasing Ordinance and Righ​t to Renew Complaint​​​​​​ form and send via email to Janet Farr​ell.​​​​

Complaints sent to Renters [email protected] will be forwarded to [email protected]. The Renters Commission does not review or respond to individual complaints. 

Updates to ​Chapter 112: 

The Fair Chance Access to Housing Ordinance prohibits landlords who have one or more rental units in the City of Ann Arbor from using criminal history in tenant selection so that people with criminal records have a fair opportunity to compete ​for rental housing and reside with family members and others.​  Fair Acces​s to Housing Flyer​ (PDF)​

Filing a Human Rights Commission Complaint:

Complaints for human rights violations are best filed as soon as the complainant feels emotionally and/or physically able to do so safely. While the HRC will accept and review all complaints whenever filed, memories fade and evidence is sometimes lost, which can compromise the capacity to substantiate a claim. Also, the ability of the HRC to resolve, enforce and/or refer the complainant to other agencies or forums may be limited by the passage of time. For example, prosecution of a violation of a city ordinance is not possible if the complaint is filed more than two years after the incident occurred.

Please be aware that although the HRC is required to give the City Attorney copies of the complaints it receives, the City Attorney will be involved only where necessary and your privacy will be maintained wherever possible. Although all documents are subject to the Freedom of Information Act, confidential information will be redacted appropriately.​

If you believe your rights under Ann Arbor's Non-Discrimination Ordinance have been violated, please complete and submit your complaint using this online form: https://www.a2g​​