January 27, 2023

Rental Inspections & Permits

An overview of the Rental Inspection Process for Owners.

Overview

Many Cities and Townships require a rental inspection in order to lease out a property.

  • City of Ann Arbor - Required every three years
  • Ann Arbor Township - Not Required
  • City of Ypsilanti - Required every two years
  • Ypsilanti Township - Required every two years
  • Pittsfield Township - Required every two years
  • Lodi Township - Not Required
  • Scio Township - Not Required
  • Superior Township - Not Required
  • City of Chelsea -Not Required
  • City of Saline - Not Required
City of Ann Arbor

The City of Ann Arbor requires a Rental Inspection every three years to obtain a Certificate of Compliance (CofC). As of 2022, the City of Ann Arbor began transitioning from Etrakit to a new inspection software called STREAM. The software is used for tracking and scheduling certified rental and trade-related permits. The City is still working out some bugs in the new system, but we are optimistic that the new system will improve and streamline the inspection process.

Please take a minute to review the City of Ann Arbor's Rental Housing Services Website.


Etrakit

Once on the website, navigate to permits and input the property address to view relevant permits.

To view the status and expiration date of the current rental license, select the permit beginning with the letters "CR."

Any trade-related permits (in progress or finalized) can be viewed and tracked via the initial page as well.


STREAM

The City is still working on transitioning rental inspection data to STREAM. Therefore, some permit information lives on both Etrakit and STREAM. The City has instructed us to use STREAM for all future initial inspection scheduling and new permits. Until everything has transferred over, we are utilizing both Etrakit and STREAM to track and manage the rental inspection process.

Once on the website, navigate to permits and input the property address to view relevant permits. Similarly with Etrakit, the rental license begins with CR.

After selecting the "CR" link, one can view the status and other relevant information on the following page .

As the agent and primary contact, we also use this page to upload any relevant documents pertaining to the inspection. For example, we may upload the furnace clean and check form here.

City of Ypsilanti

The City of Ypsilanti requires a Rental Inspection every two years to obtain a Certificate of Compliance (CofC). As the registered agent, we will receive inspection-related notices in the mail. Please take a minute to review the City of Ypsilanti's Rental Inspections Website.

Ypsilanti Township

Ypsilanti Township requires a Rental Inspection every two years to obtain a Certificate of Compliance (CofC). As the registered agent, we will receive inspection-related notices in the mail.


Pittsfield Township

Pittsfield Township requires a Rental Inspection every two years to obtain a Certificate of Compliance (CofC). As the registered agent, we will receive inspection-related notices in the mail. You can read more about Pittsfield Township's process on their Rental Housing Division Website.

Baker Street Process

As part of the management of your property, we are glad to manage the rental inspection process for you. We have established a very successful inspection pass rate using the process laid out below. If you would like to spearhead the repairs and appointments with the City, you are also welcome to do so; we only ask that you let us know that when we email you.

  1. If you have designated Baker Street Properties as the “Agent” for your property. We will upload the registration form to STREAM.
  2. The City will then send email notice with an inspection date (required every three years). Once the inspection is scheduled, we will notify you via email and that we will begin our inspection process.
  3. We will alert the tenants of the upcoming inspection and our process.
  4. We will schedule a “furnace clean and check” as required by the City every inspection cycle. We will coordinate this with our preferred HVAC vendor and notify the tenants.
  5. Our maintenance team will meet the City Inspector at the scheduled inspection time. Our maintenance team walks through the property with the Inspector during the inspection and outlines required repairs. If violations are found that can be repaired immediately maintenance will aim to make those while the inspector is still there.
  6. We hope to receive a verbal all clear from the inspector at the end of the inspection. Following the inspection the inspector will send us an inspection report. The report is uploaded to Etrakit or STREAM.
  7. Once we receive the inspection report, we will have our maintenance team handle said repairs. If there are items that require trade permits, then we will coordinate with our preferred vendors.
  8. If additional violations were found that require repairs of significant costs we will reach out to you.
  9. The City mails us the Rental License. We will upload this to the Portal and notify you once everything has been finalized.

Please consider the following:

  • If a major system (furnace/boiler, water heater, radon system, sump pump, electrical panel) was installed without a permit within the last 5 years the City requires retroactive permitting to check to see that it was installed to code. This often requires repairs and alterations to the system. We have preferred tradespeople we will work with to complete relevant repairs and obtain a passing final trade inspection (i.e. mechanical, electrical, plumbing, or building).
  • The City has specific requirements for Dryer Vents & Window Ventilation Locks & Cellar Occupancy. Please take a moment to read through these documents.
  • We only make repairs that would be necessary in order to pass the inspection with our goal being to make repairs with the least expense possible.
  • Although some items may be new or in good condition on the surface, they may not meet the City code requirements. For example: A shower head with a flexible hose often does not allow room for a vacuum breaker which is required per code.

Rental Inspection Fee Structure:

Baker Street collects a rental inspection fee per inspection cycle for managing the inspection process. We will collect the fee after the initial inspection has been scheduled, and the fee is generally collected in the following month's owner payout. Please find the fee structure below:

  • City of Ann Arbor - First-Time Rental Inspections: $750
  • City of Ann Arbor - Renewal Inspections: $500
  • City of Ypsilanti - First-Time Rental Inspections: $500
  • City of Ypsilanti - Renewal Inspections: $250
  • Ypsilanti Township - First-Time Rental Inspections: $500
  • Ypsilanti Township - Renewal Inspections: $250
  • Pittsfield Township - First-Time Rental Inspections: $500
  • Pittsfield Township - Renewal Inspections: $250

Common Inspection Repairs & Costs

Common Inspection Repairs

  • Repair or replace smoke detectors (all detectors over 10 years old must be replaced)
  • Fix leaky faucets or shower heads
  • Replace burnt out light bulbs
  • Re-wire or repair non-working switches
  • Repair or replace GFCI outlets
  • Secure dryer vents with UL tape (not duct tape)
  • Install CO2 monitors
  • Re-caulk areas in the bathroom
Common Inspection Costs

You can expect the following costs for an inspection that we manage. Once you grant us approval to spearhead the inspection for you, we will move forward with our process. We will ONLY contact you if an item falls outside of the common inspection items and there is a significant expense expected. Please see below for more information on average costs.

Other Requirements

Sometimes the City may require other scheduled work, such as:

  • Furnace or Boiler Check (City Certification)
  • Preventative Sewer Cleaning Maintenance
  • Fireplace & Chimney Inspection
  • Fire Alarm Inspection

First-Time Rental Inspections

First-time rental inspections are scheduled by the City and typically take two hours to complete. A homeowner should expect significant repairs and costs associated with a first-time rental inspections and should budget at least $5,000 for repairs following a first time rental inspection. Owners are often surprised by these costs but the City is not flexible on the items they require and the list is often long and expensive.

The most common items that are cited by the City are major systems that have been installed without permits (i.e. furnaces, A/C, water heaters, etc). Other items often sited are incorrectly completed electrical or plumbing work. These items require licensed tradespeople to complete them and finalized trade inspections with the City.

If a property that has not been a rental property before or the Certificate of Occupancy has lapsed for more than one year, a one-time fee of $750 will be charged to the owner to obtain the Certificate of Occupancy. For all other properties, there is a one-time fee of $500 per rental inspection cycle.

All repair costs for the inspection are the responsibility of the owner and will be billed to the owner at our regular maintenance rate of $60/hr plus material. Any trade vendors that must be hired will be bill at the actual cost of the work (including labor and materials).

FAQ

What is Cellar Occupancy? 
Cellar Occupancy is when a legal bedroom is in the basement. There is a checklist the City uses to inspect basement bedrooms. This checklist has been instituted more recently so if you previously had a basement bedroom you may not have had to meet these requirements. Requirements include have the results of a radon test on file and mitigation if it tests beyond 4 pCi/L. Additionally the main sewer stacks must be cleaned every 4 years.

What are the City Fees?
Please see the City of Ann Arbor website for fees.

Will you contact me prior to making repairs?
Once you grant us approval to spearhead the inspection, we will move forward with our process. We will only contact you if an item falls outside of the common inspection items and there is a significant expense expected.

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