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Vanessa Jones, Director
421 Madison, 2nd Floor
Phone: (313) 965-5223
Hours: 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

If you are renting a home, apartment, mobile home, or some other building from someone, you are a tenant.  A landlord is the person who is renting the home, apartment, mobile home or some other building to you.  Both landlords and tenants have legal rights.

The Real Estate Division handles many types of problems between landlords and tenants regarding property in the city of Detroit. This division handles:

  • Non-payment of rent
  • Termination (eviction)
  • Health hazard termination (eviction)
  • Trespassers
  • Lock-outs
  • Land contract forfeitures and disputes

Landlord/tenants are directed to the second floor cashier to begin a Real Estate action (new case filings).  The necessary forms can be purchased at the counter or at major office supply stores.

When the time period expires after a tenant has been served with the appropriate papers, a landlord can start legal action.  On the court date, both the landlord and tenant must appear in Room 421 (4th floor) at 8:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.  Both the landlord and the tenant may have attorneys present at this hearing and may request a jury trial. Any evidence or witnesses that would support your case should be present at this hearing.

If both sides agree on how to handle the matter, a Consent Judgment will be signed.  If the parties cannot agree, a ruling will be made after a judge hears both sides of the case.  A judgment order will be entered stating the actions necessary to satisfy the court's ruling.  A tenant cannot be evicted from rental property without a court order called an Order of Eviction.  Once an Order of Eviction has been signed by a judge, it can be executed by a bailiff or court officer.

If you feel that you have legitimate complaint against your landlord, you can contact the City of Detroit Rental Inspector regarding property repair at (313) 224-2733.  You may also contact Legal Aid and Defender toll free at (877) 964-4700.  It is important that you keep a record on everything that has occurred that will support your complaint (i.e. names, dates, problems, receipts etc).  If you file a complaint against your landlord, it is illegal for the landlord to retaliate against you through such actions as raising your rent or having you evicted.  If your landlord has ignored the legal process to have you evicted and locked you out of your rental property, you can contact the United Community Housing Coalition between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. at:

United Community Housing Coalition
220 Bagley Street
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 963-3310

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