Vacant Residential Property - Registration & Inspection
Registration & Inspection Required
Single family and duplex houses that remain unoccupied more than 30 days are required to be registered and inspected by the Office of Community Standards. The purpose of this law is to prevent the deterioration of Township neighborhoods by regulating vacant abandoned and foreclosed single family and duplex properties to insure that such properties are in compliance with all applicable state law and Township Code requirements including the Township property maintenance code.
Ordinance #2014-8 became effective on April 10, 2014 and applications for certification are currently being accepted. Read the full text of the ordinance for complete details.
Absent or Uncooperative Property Owner - Administrative Search Warrant to Inspect
The Office of Community Standards makes every effort to identify and contact the owners of vacant houses in order to achieve voluntary compliance with this ordinance. OCS sends a letter to the official address of record for the property owner and also uses other investigative resources in an effort to locate absentee owners.
In some cases when the owner of a vacant house is uncooperative or cannot be located, the Office of Community Standards will apply to the 14-B District Court for an administrative search warrant to inspect the house as a last resort.
In order to obtain an administrative search warrant, the Ordinance Officer must establish probable cause that:
the subject house has been vacant for more than 30 days and is subject to enforcement pursuant to this ordinance, and
the property owner has refused to register the property or has refused to consent to an inspection, or
the property owner has not responded to enforcement letters sent to the address of record and otherwise cannot be located.
Administrative search warrant affidavits are first reviewed by the Township attorney and then presented to a judge or magistrate for authorization. Once authorized by the court, the warrant is served usually within 24 hours. If a house must be forcibly entered, the door is secured with a padlock to prevent unauthorized entry. A copy of the authorized search warrant is left inside the premises for the owner.
If code violations are found during the inspection, the property owner is served with a Notice of Violation. Life/safety violations and exterior blight must be addressed immediately to prevent further deterioration of the house and the neighborhood. Lesser violations may be corrected at a later time prior to the house being reoccupied.
In some extreme cases, a house may be condemned and the certificate of occupancy revoked. When this occurs, the Township attorney will record an affidavit with the county Register of Deeds to place any prospective buyer on notice about code violations. If purchased, the new owner accepts responsibility to make repairs.
Vacant Property Registration and Maintenance - Compliance Certificate Application
Certification Application Form
This form is completed and submitted by the property owner and/or agent responsible for maintaining the property.
Please note that the application is a two part form that includes a notarized affidavit about the condition of utility service. Water, sewer, gas and electric service must remain operable or be properly disconnected. Homes with a basement sump pump system for storm water management must remain operable to prevent water and mold damage.
The Vacant Residential Property program uses the 2012 International Property Maintenance Code with certain changes customized for our community. The basic code is published by the International Code Council and may be viewed online at its website: 2012 International Property Maintenance Code.
Custom code changes adopted by Ypsilanti Township are also available online at Municode.
Fees & Contacts
Vacant Residential Property Fee Schedule
This is the fee schedule for various activities associated with the Vacant Residential Property program.
Contact Vacant Housing Certification: (734) 485 - 3943
Office Hours & Location
Monday - Friday
8:30am - 4:30pm (Closed 12:00pm - 1:00pm daily.)
Tilden R. Stumbo Civic Center
7200 S. Huron River Dr.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197