To Many Rental Properties In Dearborn Heights Or Just Bad LandLords?

Interesting, conversation taking place over at Dearborn Heights United PAC what started out with a comment about a Chinese Massage Parlor opening up in South Dearborn Heights. Turned into a conversation about rental properties and how many there are in the City of Dearborn Heights. It’s true there’s a lot of rental properties in Dearborn Heights and a large majority of those rental properties can be found in the South End of Dearborn Heights. Is having rental, property’s in the City the problem or is it the Landlords or the renters themselves? Having lived on a block that had an empty home for five years, I can speak a little on this. The home wasn’t sold or rented, however, it saw a lot of traffic. No, not drugs people going in and out at odd times of the day Men and women. The house I suspected for years was used for couples wanting to “hook-up.” I found out after the house was sold that I was correct in my suspicions based on what the homeowner found in the house including a SD card left with photos on it. The back yard of the home was one ‘big weed’ there wasn’t a blade of grass left. The deck in the back was left unkept and falling apart the front yard was cut but full of weeds.

Maybe this home if it would have had a renter in it would have looked better, or maybe not. Not every landlord is a responsible landlord. Nor is every renter a responsible renter. I once visited a home in Dearborn Heights being rented by a man when I was running for City Council. It was shocking to see what a landlord could get away with here in Dearborn Heights. Now have things changed? I hope they have, but I don’t feel the solution is to have empty homes all over the City this does no good. I do feel however if you are going to rent in this City you have a responsibility to keep your yard clean, grass cut, bushes trimmed. Is this the responsibility of the landlord or the renter? That depends on the agreement between the two parties. The City has a big part to play in this if you want to rent out your property in the City you should have a signed agreement with clear responsibilities for the renter and the landlord. This agreement kept on file with the City.

An updated list of every rental property in the City kept on file with the City. I think the City does have a list, but how up to date is it? There must be clear enforceable rules that are given to every landlord/renter in the City. There must be an ongoing inspection of each and every rental property in the City once a month. A clear log-book must be kept for every inspection including photos taken of the property. These inspections, of course, have nothing to do with the inside of the home. However, when a renter moves out the City must be notified by the landlord and when a new renter moves in a new agreement signed by both must be submitted to the City. This can happen electronically if a form could be put the City’s website for a landlord to fill out when a renter leaves and a new renter moves in. The agreement between the landlord and renter can be submitted by email to the ordinance department. Penalties should be put in place against any landlord that fails to comply with notifying the City.

Clear penalties for:

  • Hanging gutters
  • Uncut grass
  • Weed ridden lawns

These are just a few, but you get the idea. Bottom line if you want to live here respect the City you live in respect the street you live on. If you want to own a property here be a responsible property owner.

What do you think? Join the conversation over at Facebook or leave your comment here. #Rental #Dearbornheights


5 thoughts on “To Many Rental Properties In Dearborn Heights Or Just Bad LandLords?”

  1. Neighborhood with 90% single home “Not appatments or 2/4 unis ” are intended for ownership and statbility. if a municipality start loosing that base, that mean pepole no more see that neighborhood as a long term resident enviroment for them. Renters will find a home to buy wen the interst rate for mortgage is very very low. reters properties will end up empty or with renters not able to pay, eventually owners dump the property for tax forclosures and that the begening of what happin in Detroit. I hope we are 1000 miles away from that cycle. Dearborn Heights is a good place to live in. May be few renters property city codes adjustments will help? Or even better: City improvement programs targeting those areas to attract “Buyers not Renters” Do we have anybody in the city responsable for that? Do we have any funding allocated in the budget for such activities? That needs vision and leadership.


  2. I would like to know if anyone can confirm if there is a pawn shop going in where Jans fish store is on Telegraph on the south end. That would make 3 pawn shops on the south end within a 2 mile radius. They can’t call them pawn shops they are exchanges. The one pawn shop is the popular one in Detroit. They were told they couldn’t use the word pawn so I don’t know if they will take over Jans fish store or not. That is not a good sign for the south end with all these rental properties and pawn shops coming in. I haven’t got my absentee ballot yet. usually I get it weeks before the election. I am so disapointed in the City. They have lost so much by their god like attitudes. I hope some new blood gets on council and we loose the know it all Mayor with his go no where plans and study ‘s.


  3. I agree with part of what you said, Lisa. I do believe rentals should be inspected every 3 years. Some landlords (like the house across the street from me) don’t clean after something like the flood and mold started to grow on the walls. When the renter complained, the landlord ignored her. As to tickets, I believe the city is far too lenient. I think one warning and if not taken care of or it happens again, ticket them and make them pay. I reported one house that had trucks and cars parked on the grass. The city came out and the owner moved them. Lo and behold, a few days after the city OK’d it, they started parking there again. I believe the city should then go out and issue a ticket. No second chances. I “think” they go out and issue another warning. If anyone knows differently, please let me know. By the way, I’ve been after the city for years to give the print out of all the ordinances to new landlords but they haven’t seen fit to do that. For that matter, every time the city is notified that someone has bought a house in the city for ANY reason, they should issue a recap of the ordinances. They have a small print out which would be good to give. As I said, so far they haven’t seen fit to do that.


  4. As a resident and a landlord I understand the issue well. Yes, we have some Slumlords who exploit people who rent from them. We also have very responsible landlords. Expecting the city to enforce the lease is not within their responsibilities. The notion of having ordinance do a monthly review of yards and conditions of rentals is not reasonable . You would need a fleet of city workers, vehicles and the cost associated would be astronomical. As a landlord I think it’s ridiculous that my property has to be inspected every 3 years when the renter is a long time renter/resident. That is a revenue stream for the city and an inconvenience to renter and landlord. The reality is that ordinance can enforce EXISTING city ordinances for blight/grass height/snow removal and that will help a lot. I wish the ordinance allowed 1 warning and then if the same issue happens within 365 days you get a ticket. The perpetual overgrown yard, and blight would end if tickets were issued to property owners as they would in turn have to enforce the leases .


  5. Oh, man. Where to start. First of all the answer to your question is both. As far as I’m concerned (and I’m a minority in my beliefs as far as the city is concerned – big Surprise), there should be a limit on how many rentals there can be in the city. As to those who buy the houses, a lot of the new owners tell the city they’re going to live in the house and turn around and rent it. If you see a rental in your neighborhood, make sure you tell the city it’s a rental. More than one new owner has tried to get away with that. Also, when you see someone move out and someone new move in, each time that happens the house has to be inspected. A lot of landlords won’t tell the city that the old renter has moved out and a new one in. Saves money. Now this next one is a biggie. The outside is the responsibility of the Ordinance Department. The Building Department handles the inside of the house. I was told by someone (in the know) that the Building Department can undo everything the Ordinance Department has done. They give C of O’s when they shouldn’t. I have a house on my street where the original owners had 15 cats living in the basement. When the wife died, the husband had someone go in and trap the cats. The damage had been done, though. He had it professionally cleaned out which meant that EVERYTHING in the house had to be destroyed because of the cat urine smell. She wouldn’t let the cats upstairs so they sat on the back of the utility sink and did their business off the edge and when she died, the feces came up to the edge of that sink. They also had fleas which were all through the house. These were nice, clean people, too. About a 1 1/2 years after she died, they sold it for $30,000. This guy has let the house sit and hardly done any work on it. He had a convertible sitting in the backyard on the grass and when I reported it, he moved it to the driveway in front of the garage. They couldn’t put it in the garage because he had moved a truck load of furniture in there. By the way, the top was down on the convertible through rain, sleet, snow, more rain – THE FLOOD. When he was told to move it or the city would move it, he TRIED TO START IT. Gives you an idea of what a brain we’re working with here. The house still sits. It needs so much work it’s ridiculous. And I will BET that he doesn’t take down half the SH – – that’s on the outside of the house, It boggles the mind to think that someone has $30,000 to invest and then doesn’t take care of that investment. Talk about a SCHLOCK landlord. This guy is it. The bay window on the front of the house is all rotted out on the bottom and I’m pretty sure all sorts of animals are getting into the house that way. I’ve gone on long enough but suffice it to say that if all the departments in this city worked as well as the Ordinance Department, we’ d be in a lot better shape.


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