Detroit swings new hammer against scofflaw landlords: Part of Covid rent aid is held back

August 22, 2021, 1:23 PM

The city hits apartment owners where it hurts in a hardball pitch for building code compliance.

Arielle Kass, covering residential residential real estate for Crain's Detroit Business, describes the get-tougher step:

In an effort to ensure more Detroit rental properties are safe and habitable, the city since earlier this summer has been withholding some rental relief money from landlords until they become compliant with city code. ...

Landlords [must] have a certificate of compliance in order to receive a full payout of Covid Emergency Rental Assistance in the city. The money is given to landlords for back rent — and up to three months of rent going forward — to compensate them for tenants who are behind because of ill effects from the coronavirus pandemic. ...

Twenty percent is held in escrow until a landlord makes any needed repairs. ... The 20 percent that is being withheld will be released to tenants if landlords don't become compliant [in three months].


In this week's issue, Crain's quotes Julie Schneider, head of housing and revitalization for the city: 

"The program isn't to penalize anyone," she said. "The goal is to keep as many people stably housed as possible. ... Detroit's housing stock is older. We want to make sure it is being maintained."

Among six other sources interviewed are a landlord and two real estate attorney, each of whom voices concerns and frustrations.

Read more:  Crain's Detroit Business

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