With temperatures about to drop to single digits, City of Detroit building inspectors are putting apartment building owners on notice to have their heating systems working or face potential fines.
The Building Safety, Engineering and Environmental Department (BSEED) is targeting 143 buildings that over the past year have been issued correction orders to address issues with their heating and cooling systems. Inspectors have been visiting the buildings to determine whether the ordered corrections have been made, and if they haven’t, owners will be issued a ticket and fined.
“Inspectors try to visit buildings annually and will respond immediately to complaints of heating problems,” said David Bell, Director of BSEED. His office is hiring seven additional inspectors to increase their capacity to visit all apartment buildings properties and is also accepting inspectionreports from 2 inspection companies to visit 1-2 family dwellings so his BSEED team can focus more on multi-unit apartment and senior buildings.
“Renters are often at the mercy of their landlords and so this is part of a stepped up effort to make sure the owners of these buildings are in compliance with their heating and cooling systems, as well as other important code and safety issues,” says Bell. “Our goal is to work with every property owner and to get them into compliance without tickets or fines. But if conditions warrant, we will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the occupants of a rental property.”
How to report a problem property
Any rental property resident who is experiencing heating problems or other serious issues at their building can contact BSEED by calling 313-628-2451 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. In January, BSEED will provide an online form that residents can fill out, and a search engine to verify that properties are registered and have Certificate of Compliances
The following are Dos-And-Don’ts for rental property owners and managers to comply with the Detroit Property Maintenance Code and provide a safe and warm environmental for people to live:
1. Make sure that adequate heat is provided to all habitable rooms in each unit, common area, and hallways.
2. Make sure that adequate smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are installed and operating at all regulated locations in the building.
3. Make sure that adequate ventilation air is provided for the building occupants.
4. Make sure no hazards, deficiencies, or deteriorated conditions exist in the building, its structure, its building components, or on the property grounds affecting the health and safety of the occupants and/or considered a violation of the Detroit Property Maintenance Code.
5. Register your rental property with BSEED.
6. Contact BSEED to schedule an inspection of the building and mechanical equipment (in the event a direct safety inspection of the mechanical system cannot be performed the City will accept a certified mechanical contractor’s inspection report of the heating unit(s) for review and approval by BSEED’s Mechanical Inspector).
7. Pay all applicable fees for the inspections performed by BSEED.
8. Obtain a Mechanical Use License from BSEED’s Construction Division and a Certificate of Compliance from BSEED’s Property Maintenance Division.
1. Do not operate heating equipment without inspection and approval from BSEED.
2. Do not rent any unit for habitation to any person without supplying adequate and safe heat.
3. Do not rent any unit for habitation to any person without receiving a Mechanical Use License and Certificate of Compliance from BSEED.
4. Do not ignore registration and inspection requirements as failure to comply will result in additional fees, blight violation citations, and misdemeanor citations.
Representatives of BSEED will be available for interview, should you have any questions please feel free to contact Tiffany Crawford.