Compliance




The Compliance Team ensures that property owners are renovating their properties, and getting them occupied. In doing so, the Compliance Team is the last step in meeting the mission of the Detroit Land Bank – to eliminate blight and vacancy in the City of Detroit. As a result of this work, we have seen decreased blight, increased occupancy, increased property values, increased investment, stronger neighborhoods, and an increase in population.

The Compliance Team enforces agreements signed by property owners who have either purchased a property from the DLBA (“Sales Compliance”), or whose property was the subject of a nuisance abatement action (“NAP Compliance”). For both Sales and NAP Compliance, property owners agree to rehabilitate the property within six (6) months and to provide regular updates to the Compliance Team documenting and verifying that progress.

For Sales Compliance, the compliance reporting period begins on the closing date, when the property owner takes title to the property and obtains possession.

For NAP Compliance, the property had been identified as vacant, blighted, and a nuisance. In order to avoid or stop litigation, a property owner signs an agreement which outlines their responsibilities for rehabilitating or demolishing the property, or selling to someone who will.

In short, the Compliance Team wants to ensure the property is moving in the right direction. For both Sales and NAP compliance, within 15 days, the property owner is required to send pictures of all 4 sides of the property showing it is secured, free of external debris, and the yard is maintained.

In addition, every 30 days, the property owner is required to provide proof of progress. Before and after pictures showing the progress are best, but the Compliance Team will also accept other forms of proof, such as permits, invoices, receipts, and signed contracts.

Email all updates showing progress to documents@detroitlandbank.org.

1.  When can I visit my property and begin work?

Construction cannot begin until you have closed on the property. During the period between winning the auction and closing, all visits to the property must be chaperoned. Before closing, access to the house is only available by appointment. If you are interested in viewing the property before closing, contact your assigned Closing Specialist. There is a non-refundable fee for each appointment. No walk-in appointments are available.

2.  How do I permits listed in my “Pre-Sale Inspection Report” or “Property Condition Report”?

Permits are issued for the following trades: Building, Plumbing, Electrical and Mechanical. Check your Pre-Sale Report or Property Condition Report for which permits should be pulled. Permit applications are available at the following link or on the 4th floor of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center (Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department – 2 Woodward Ave., 4th floor). If working with a contractor, they typically will take responsibility for filing the required permits. Share the Pre-Sale Inspection Report with your contractor. If the homeowner is performing the work, they may apply for Homeowner Permits. At the time the permit application is submitted, the homeowner must provide proof that they are the primary resident (typically using a driver license or deed). The Deed must be in the name of the person applying for the permit. In most cases you will not need drawings, but be sure to bring a copy of your Pre-Sale Report in order to prove what work is being done. The cost of a permit depends upon the work being performed.

3.  Can I occupy the property during construction?

You should not move in to a property unless it is safe. Detroit’s building department (BSEED) can inspect your property to determine if it is safe. Contact BSEED by going to room 408 in the City-County Building at 2 Woodward, or call them at 313-224-2733. If you have received a Pre-Sale Inspection Report (Own-It-Now), you may apply for a Temporary Occupancy Permit (TOP) in order to occupy the property while completing repairs noted on the Pre-Sale Inspection Report. A TOP is a one page document that is issued to a buyer when there are no dangerous conditions at the property. At minimum, the property must contain a sink, a bath, smoke detectors, at least one operable window at each bedroom (with no bars), no interior keyed locks and have all utilities turned on

4.  How do I find a contractor?

Select a contractor with a reputation for honesty and good workmanship. Hire someone who has established a good working reputation in the community and does the type of work you require. The contractor should be in business full-time on a year-round basis. All residential contractors must be licensed by the State of Michigan, be registered to do business in the City of Detroit, hold property liability insurance and workers compensation insurance. Always ask prospective contractors for proof of current licensing and insurance.

  • Ask your local Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, and local community building inspector for community references on prospective contractors.
  • Review the Builders and Remodelers listed on the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Southeastern Michigan’s website: www.builders.org. Their website provides resources for not only selecting remodelers, but also for the selection of specific services and products.
  • Visit Brick and Beam Detroit’s Contractor List. They are a non-profit group dedicated to connecting people interested in rehabbing and reinvesting in Detroit’s buildings.
  • Visit the City of Detroit’s Home Repair Loan website.
  • Check with the State of Michigan for verification of builders or maintenance and alteration licenses; call 517.373.8376 or verify a license online at https://www.lara.michigan.gov/colaLicVerify/
  • Check with the State of Michigan for verification of specific trades and services: Carpentry, Concrete, Excavation, Insulation Work, Masonry, Painting & Decorating, Siding, Roofing, Screen & Storm Sash, Gutters, Tile & Marble, House Wrecking, Swimming Pools, and Basement Waterproofing. Verify a license online at https://aca3.accela.com/lara/
  • Check Limited Liability Companies (LLC) and/or other corporation types for certificate of good standing with the State of Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; call 517.214-6470 or verify online at https://cofs.lara.state.mi.us/corpweb/CorpSearch/CorpSearch.aspx
  • Ask for names and telephone numbers of other customers for which the contractor has performed work. Talk to them and ask if they were happy with the contractor's performance.
  • Visit the contractor's place of business to see if he or she operates professionally

5.  What is a "scope of work" document?

This schedule documents and details all the work that will be done. There is no specific format required; however, it typically divides work into categories. Use the Pre-Sale Inspection Report(Own-It-Now) or Property Condition Report (Auction) as a guide. These reports divide the work into five (5) categories: Exterior, Interior, Electrical, Plumbing and Heating. Establish an estimated project cost by including a cost for labor and materials for each line item listed on the Reports. Include a contingency to account for unplanned costs.

Creating this document will help:

  • Insure you are performing work required by the Report
  • Identify items that may be performed by the purchaser instead of the contractor in order to reduce cost
  • Establish the value of the property at the completion of the project
  • Act as a checklist to confirm all work has been completed

Typically, this document is completed by a Contractor, Home Inspector or an Architect. A sample template can be provided by the DLBA upon request.

It is highly recommended that purchasers create this document whether the work is being performed by a contractor or by the homeowner.

6.  How do I prepare a “construction schedule”?

This details when the work listed on the Scope of Work document will be completed. There is no specific format required; however, it should at a minimum detail project activities on a monthly basis. A template can be provided by the DLBA upon request.

Creating one at the beginning of a project and continuing to update it during the life of the project will help insure the project will be completed within 6 months (9 months if located within a historic district) as required by your Purchase Agreement. It is highly recommended that purchasers create one.

7.  What is the difference between a Certificate of Approval, Certificate of Acceptance, a Certificate of Compliance, and Certificate of Occupancy?

All of these certificates are issued by the building department – Building, Safety, Engineering, and Environmental Department (BSEED).

A Certificate of Approval is issued upon confirmation that all deficiencies noted in the Pre-Sale Inspection Report (or Notice of Deficiencies Inspection Report) have been corrected, required inspection permits have been completed and all inspection fees have been paid.

A Certificate of Acceptance is issued where a Building, Mechanical, Plumbing or Electrical permit has been pulled, work has been completed, and BSEED has inspected and confirmed the repairs or improvements are in compliance with current codes.

A Certificate of Compliance is issued each year after the property passes a rental inspection verifying the property is safe and habitable.

A Certificate of Occupancy is generally only issued for new construction and this certificate will not be applicable to most DLBA purchasers

8.  What happens if I’m renovating within a historic district?

There are restrictions on repairs and improvements to the exterior or properties located within local historic districts. Before closing on the property, the purchaser should provide the DLBA with the scopes of work proposed to the exterior of the property. The DLBA will attach that scope of work to a Building Permit Application and submit it to the Detroit Historic District Commission (DHDC). The DHDC will ensure the scopes of work are allowable, and, if so, will issue a Certificate of Appropriateness.

Once the property closes, the homeowner will file a new building permit application in their name and attach the same scope of work and Certificate of Appropriateness to the application. Any deviation from the scope approved by the Historic District Commission will require the homeowner to go back for a new review. There will be a fee associated with this application.

Please see this link: http://www.detroitmi.gov/Government/Boards/Detroit-Historic-Commission-FAQs. Also, contact Jennifer Ross at the DHDC by calling 313-224-8907 or emailing rossj@detroitmi.gov.

9.  If lead and asbestos containing materials are found present within my home, what do I do?

Many of the properties purchased through the auction were originally built with lead and/or asbestos materials. If available, environmental reports will be shared with purchasers. It is recommended that the homeowners seek advice for how to properly control and/or remove hazardous materials.

Lead

Any home built before 1978 may contain lead paint. Homes built before 1960 are more likely to contain higher levels of lead. Lead is typically found in paint. It is a health hazard when it chips, or becomes dust or fumes. Lead paint in the home is a major cause of childhood lead poisoning.

If your contractor will disturb lead-based paint while renovating, repairing or painting your home, he or she must be certified in lead-based activities and must follow specific Laws and Regulations.

Although Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rules do not apply to homeowners, do-it-yourself projects can easily create dangerous lead dust. Protect your family and home – set up safely, control the dust, and clean up completely. More information can be found on our website or within the packet of material you received at closing.

Note: Also that if the finished property is to be a rental property, it must be registered with the City of Detroit and annually certified as Lead safe. More information can be found by Click here.

Asbestos

Asbestos can be found in appliances, ceilings, wall and pipe coverings, floor tiles and coverings, and roofing materials. Asbestos was used primarily for insulation or fire protection. A material is a health risk when asbestos fibers are released from the material and become airborne. For example, when cutting a pipe wrapped with insulation which contains asbestos.

Asbestos-containing materials that aren’t damaged or disturbed are not likely to pose a health risk. Usually, the best thing is to leave asbestos-containing materials alone if it is in good condition.

Generally, asbestos-containing material that is in good condition and will not be disturbed (by remodeling, for example) will not release asbestos fibers.

Asbestos-containing materials may release fibers when they are disturbed, damaged, removed improperly, repaired, cut, torn, sanded, sawed, drilled or scraped. Keep an eye on asbestos containing materials and visually check them over time for signs of wear or damage.

If you suspect material contains asbestos, don't touch it. Look for signs of wear or damage such as tears, abrasions, or water damage. Damaged material may release asbestos fibers. This is particularly true if you often disturb it by hitting, rubbing or handling, or if it is exposed to extreme vibration or air flow.

For slightly damaged asbestos-containing material, sometimes the best way to deal with it is to limit access to the area and not to touch or disturb it. If asbestos-containing material is more than slightly damaged or if you are going to make changes in your home that might disturb it, repair or removal by a trained and accredited asbestos professional is needed.

Purchasers should contact the State’s Asbestos Program technical staff for proper procedures, the names of licensed asbestos abatement contractors who can be hired to do the removal for you, and what to watch for if you do hire a contractor. Additional information can be found by Click here.

10.  What do I do if I received a Lead Risk Assessment Report?

If the Property was acquired using federal funds from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and if lead is present, the Purchaser must acquire a clearance report from a state certified Lead Inspector or Lead Risk Assessor that confirms the residence is free from lead hazards upon completion of work. Click here for help finding an Inspector or Risk Assessor.

11.  What do I do if I received an Asbestos Containing Material Survey Report?

If the Property was acquired using federal funds from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and if asbestos is present, the Purchaser must provide a clearance report from an Industrial Hygienist with a NIOSH 582 equivalent certificate that confirms the residence is free from asbestos hazards upon completion of the rehabilitation work. Click here for help finding a Hygienist.

If you purchased an Auction property, please do the following:

  • Immediately file your Property Transfer Affidavit (PTA) with the City Assessor’s office in Room 801 at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center. This must be done within 45 days, but filing this serves as proof of ownership for the water department to activate your water service.
  • Review the inspection report for this property, and included in your closing packet. The report is based on an inspection done of the property prior to the purchase. This report serves as your roadmap for repairs to the property, and inform you what permits to pull with the City’s building department.

If you purchased an Own-It-Now (OIN) property, please do the following:

  • Immediately file your Property Transfer Affidavit (PTA) with the City Assessor’s office in Room 801 at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center. This must be done within 45 days, but filing this serves as proof of ownership for the water department to activate your water service.
  • Within 15 days, make the property safe and clean for an internal inspection, and a water meter read.
  • Within 30 days, schedule an inspection to serve as your roadmap for repairs to the property, and inform you what permits to pull with the City’s building department.
  • Within 30 days, schedule a water meter read so you are not responsible for water bills owed from before the DLBA acquired the property. Do so even if there is no water meter currently at the property. Call 313-652-1840

Generally, a Sales Compliance property achieves compliance when:

  • The exterior of the property looks good (with no boards or blight)
  • The property is occupied, and
  • One or more inspections have been conducted by the City’s building department?

Generally, a NAP Compliance property achieves compliance when:

  • The exterior of the property looks good (with no boards or blight), and
  • The property is occupied

If a Sales Compliance property owner does not provide updates showing progress, or does not complete the property within a certain period of time, the DLBA will reconvey the property.

If a NAP Compliance property owner does not provide updates showing progress, or does not complete the property within a certain period of time, the Compliance Team will transfer the matter to litigation attorneys for court action.

The Compliance Team has witnessed the hard work of thousands of property owners in getting properties renovated and occupied. Property owners across the City have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve Detroit’s neighborhoods. There are many success stories. Please Click here for a Power Point showing some of these successes. The result is less blight, higher occupancy, increased property values, increased investment, and stronger neighborhoods.

In addition to enforcing the agreements, the Compliance Team connects property owners with resources to assist in the renovation process. Barriers to completing a property include such things as lack of financing, lack of reliable contractors, and security issues.

Click here to see some financing programs available.

Click here to see some perks if you purchased the property from the DLBA.

Compliance Phone: (313) 888-9050

Compliance Fax: (313) 447-3050

Compliance Email: documents@detroitlandbank.org