Do you really want to be a Detroit Landlord?

Detroit Investment properties

I get a kick out of all these people from around the country wanting to buy Detroit foreclosures.  “You can buy Detroit foreclosed homes for as little as a $1.”  scream the media.  I get calls and emails from around the country and even around the world.  But my morals and ethics won’t allow me to sell anybody a home in Detroit unless they come here and see what theCity of Detroit is like and look at Detroit foreclosures first hand.

Anybody that has come here has decided not to invest in Detroit.

The City of Detroit Administration has just added a few more money makers to their money making arsenal.  Right now they charge for an inspection.  I believe it is $250 for the home inspection when you buy a house.  Does it really mean anything….no.   Thousands of Detroit home inspections have been done in the last few years but the City of Detroit lacks the enforcement power or manpower to follow up on them and to go back and re-inspect them once the houses are bought.  So some of the inspection violations are never fixed.  I myself believe it is a $250 Money maker for the city.

Here are two more items that Detroit landlords have to be aware of when you buy a house.

  1. If your tenants or anybody else dumps junk  in front of the house for the trash.  ie. when you evict somebody.  You can’t move all the stuff to the curb and hope the trash man gets it.   You get a ticket for it even if your tenants do it when moving out.  Even if somebody chooses your vacant home as a dump site.  You the Detroit landlord will receive the ticket.
  2. If your tenants or anybody leaves a junk car in the driveway or in front of the house.   You the Detroit landlord will get a large ticket and pay for the removal.

Your Detroit investment property can be a liability.  Just lately the City of Detroit added these money makers to the list.

If a Detroit City inspector finds a vacant home or vacant Detroit investment property, they will post an Emergency Notice on the property, giving the property owner 24-hours to secure the property in accordance with new City of Detroit standards for vacant property. Here is what has to happen.  You have to board all of the  basement windows, any windows lower than five feet, front and back doors, and all porch windows. If the landlord or homeowner does not secure within 24-hours, the City of Detroit inspector intends to board at the cost of the property owner, landlord, or bank owner. Here are the costs that the property owner, landlord, or bank will be charged:

  • $500 Administration Fee
  • $300 – $400 Board-Up Costs
  • $300 in fines (issuance of ticket)


There is money to be made buying and becoming a landlord.  There are deals in Detroit foreclosures.  There are good opportunities for Detroit investment properties but it is not for the novice investor, not for remote hands-off investors.  You can make money if you are a hands-on diligent Detroit landlord with time to manage and watch your properties.

But I wanted to warn you about potential pitfalls and what the City of Detroit inspectors will cite you for.  The city needs revenue and there is no better way to get it than from banks and landlords who are making money in the City of Detroit.

Gotta love them!!!

Search Detroit foreclosures and get the latest Detroit foreclosure listings emailed to you.    Be sure to send the the section of city that you like.  There are thousands of Detroit foreclosures under $10,000 and there is too many to email at one time.

My quote of the day is:

When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.

Frederic Bastait


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