Resources for Renters

Below is a list of resources to assist residents. Please email [email protected] to suggest additional ​resources for the list. Please note that the Renters Commission does not investigate complaints or provide advice regarding landlord/tenant issues.​​​

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Free Legal Services:

  • Legal Services of Southcentral Michigan: Free legal advice and a range of civil legal services to low-income individuals, families, and older adults in Washtenaw County. 
  • University of Michigan Law Clinic: Free legal representation including landlord-tenant, contract disputes, and discrimination, for people who cannot afford to hire an attorney.  The clinic only conducts case intake and accepts new cases from the first week of September to mid-April each year.                                                      
  • ​​Fair Housing Center of Southeast Michigan: Investigates complaints of illegal housing discrimination based on federal, state, and local fair housing laws, as well as resolving reasonable accommodation and modification requests for people with disabilities.  
  • University of Michigan ​Student Legal Services: Provides students with support, assistance, and representation in housing matters including, but not be limited to lease review prior to signing, move-in process, disputes with landlord, evictions, utility disputes, repair and maintenance issues, sub-leasing, moving out, termination of tenancy, and security deposit refund.       
  • The Dispute Resolution Center: Affordable, constructive, restorative, and healing approaches to conflict resolution for all people in Washtenaw and Livingston Counties of Michigan, including Landlord/Tenant Disputes. 

Paid Legal Services:

If you are homeless or cannot pay your rent:


If you have a complaint abo​ut the condition of the home you rent, a leasing ordinance complaint, and/or any other complaint related to Chapter 105: Housing Code: 

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. 

        General 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. 

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

If you have a question or co​ncern related to the certification of your rental unit

If you believe there has been a Non-Discrimination Ordinance violation:

Discrimination on age, arrest record, color, disability, educational association, ethnicity, familial status, 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, veteran status, victim of domestic violence or stalking, or weight.

More information and complaint form here: https://www.a2gov.org/departments/city-clerk/Pages/HumanRightsCommission.aspx#discrimhrc

For University of Michigan Students: 

​Beyond the DiagUM's off campus housing program within the Dean of Students Office. 

University of Michigan ​Student Legal Services: Provides students with support, assistance, and representation in housing matters including, but not be limited to lease review prior to signing, move-in process, disputes with landlord, evictions, utility disputes, repair and maintenance issues, sub-leasing, moving out, termination of tenancy, and security deposit refund.


How to verify  permits obtained for work, inspections, and code violations for a rental property in the City of Ann Arbor:

You can check all permit and rental information on the city's online permit tracking system, eTRA​KiT​ or STREAM​.

1. Click on "search permits" in the Permits box. ​

2. If you know the permit number of the specific permit you wish to view, you can search by permit number. If not, you can search by address. (​​TIP: when searching by address, do not use any punctuation or ST, DR, or AVE​). For instance, for 301 E. Huron St.,  type only "301 E Huron" and click search. 

3. The results will contain all permits pulled under that address. All building permit records go back to April 2001. All rental records ("CR" = Certified Rental) have attachments dating back to the 1980s.​

4. Select the permit you wish to view​.​​