Ensuring Safe Housing Standards for All Rental Property Located in the City of Kalamazoo
In order to help ensure safe, decent and sanitary rental housing in the City of Kalamazoo, a Rental Housing Certification Program was put into place, requiring all rental housing to be certified prior to occupancy. It is the responsibility of the owner/agent to secure inspection and certification of all rental properties for compliance with the Housing Code, Chapter 17 of the Code of Ordinances (search Housing Code Chapter 17). The City employs nine full time Housing Inspectors with responsibility for over 17,000 registered rental units.
The Information & Application for Rental Registration, as well as other Applications, Forms & Permits related to the Rental Program, are available electronically. A Fee Schedule is also available for easy reference to fees associated with rental housing-related activities. In addition, the City maintains an up-to-date list of currently registered rental properties. This information can be accessed by clicking on the city's Rental Property and Information Database.
Responsibilities of the Landlord
It is the responsibility of the landlord to register all rental dwellings - including hotels, motels, residential cooperatives, bed and breakfasts and rooming houses - with the City, and designate a responsible local agent. In most cases, the agent can be the property owner or other authorized representative as long as such agent is located in the County of Kalamazoo or within an approved zip code range. (Exception: off-campus target area properties. If owner does not act as agent there must be a qualified rental management firm, realtor, attorney or other professional approved by the City Attorney.)
Approved Zip Code Ranges for Responsible Local Agent
49001-12; 49014-20; 49024; 49026; 49034-35; 49041; 49045-46; 49048; 49050; 49052-53; 49055; 49060; 49062; 49065-67; 49070-72; 49074; 49077-84; 49087-88; 49097
The local agent will be responsible for ensuring conformance with the Housing and related City Codes. All notices from the City regarding the property will be sent to the agent. The agent must ensure that the property receives a Certificate of Compliance prior to leasing the property.
The City performs systematic inspections on all rental properties every two years. Although not required, prior to the expiration of a Certificate of Compliance, the city makes every effort to send the owner/agent notification of said certificate expiration and need for scheduling a systematic inspection. The inspection should be scheduled well in advance of the expiration of the Certificate of Compliance. If the unit(s) is occupied, it will be the responsibility of the owner/agent to inform and request permission from the tenant(s) in order for the inspection to be conducted. The tenant has the right to be present at the inspection. The assigned Housing Inspector inspects the property and provides a written correction notice for any violations prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Compliance. All follow-up activity to ensure compliance with the Housing Code is the responsibility of the designated local agent.
In addition to systematic rental housing inspections, the City also responds to complaints about interior and exterior housing conditions. The City has authority to request entrance from the tenant and/or agent to perform a responsive inspection. A fee is charged to the owner for all valid complaint inspections. Cooperation with this ordinance is essential. Failure to register rental property and/or meet and maintain requirements of the Housing Code result in enforcement by the City, including fines and/or court action.
Many housing complaints the city receives involve exterior condition of the property. Proper care is required by both the property owner/agent and tenants in order to maintain acceptable exterior and interior property conditions. Tenants should take care and treat rental property with respect and inform the landlord of any problems immediately. The yard should be kept neat and free of litter and accumulated junk, with grass mowed and snow shoveled. Garbage and trash should be placed in a dumpster or other approved container and stored properly in the side or rear yard. Bulk trash items should only be placed out one day prior to monthly pick-up.
Other Helpful Numbers:
|Housing Inspection Scheduling
|Tall Grass/Weed Hotline
|Junk Auto Hotline
|Trash/Junk in Yard