A pathway for Detroit tenants to enforce their rights

Renters in Detroit, especially low-income renters, struggle to find safe and affordable housing. This is in large part because landlords have failed to hold up their end of the bargain and have allowed their properties to fall into a state of disrepair.

Op-Ed (Michigan)

Linda Jordan, Marie DeFer
Detroit News
October 10, 2018

Tags: Housing: Landlord-Tenant

Organizations mentioned/involved: Lakeshore Legal Aid (MI)


For the last 30 years, a city of Detroit ordinance has required landlords to register their rental properties and obtain a certificate of compliance before renting out their properties. Despite this decades-old requirement, landlords in Detroit have violated the law with relative impunity. Last year, there were 140,000 rental units in Detroit and only 3 percent were in compliance with the city’s ordinance. The years of neglect have created hazardous and unsafe housing conditions throughout the city. With 97 percent of rental properties not in compliance, it’s unsurprising that tenants have scarce options for finding safe housing in Detroit.