Rental Inspection Process
Purpose of Inspections
Rental structures are inspected to:
- Ensure that the health, safety and welfare of the community are protected
- Help landlords maintain their property and properly correct any deficiencies that may exist
- Help prevent neighborhood blight and slum conditions that can result from lack of care
- Ensure that minimum housing standards for renters (according to the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code) are met
It is required that rental properties be inspected every 2 years. If a rental is already in the City of Midland's inspection program (i.e., it has been inspected at least once by the City), a reminder letter will be sent to the property owner 1 month before the month in which the inspection is due. The owner or tenant must call the Building Department to set up a time for the inspection.
If the unit is not yet in the City's program, the owner must fill out a rental certification application (PDF), pay the applicable fee, and schedule an inspection before renting the unit.
A City of Midland inspector will arrive within a few minutes of the scheduled time and inspect the entire rental unit(s). In the rare instance that an inspector does not arrive within 10 minutes of the scheduled appointment, please call the Building Department at 989-837-3383 to verify that you have the correct date and time. During the inspection process, the City inspector must be accompanied by an adult: either a tenant, property owner, or owner’s representative.
The length of time it takes to conduct an inspection for a single-family home is normally 15 to 20 minutes; however, it could take up to an hour, depending upon the complexity of the inspection. All doors in the rental unit must be unlocked. Every effort should be made by the property owner to clear and de-clutter living areas before an inspector's arrival so that the inspector can access all areas easily and safely, especially near electrical, heating and plumbing equipment.
All violations will be noted on an inspection form. A copy of the inspection results will be given to the owner if he or she is present, or mailed to them if they are not present. Depending upon the violations noted, a re-inspection may be required before the unit is certified for occupancy.
The standard fee for inspections of rentals is $20 per inspection, for each unit inspected. The notice letter sent before each inspection also serves as the bill for the inspection fee. Inspection fees must be paid before the end of the month in which they are due. Fees may be paid before or after the inspection, but City of Midland inspectors are not allowed to accept any payments at the time of the inspection. Fees may be mailed or hand-delivered to the Building Department at Midland City Hall.
All rental units must have an inspection scheduled and completed by the end of the month in which they are due. Fees must also be paid by this time. Late fees will be assessed to property owners who do not schedule and/or pay for the inspection by the due date.
City inspectors utilize a rental inspection checklist (PDF) during each inspection. While this list does not cover all possible items that an inspector could be looking for, it is a great source of information about the standard items that an inspector will check during an inspection. The rental inspection checklist serves as an effective guide for rental property owners to refer to before their scheduled inspection. It can be downloaded by clicking on the above link, or a hard copy can be picked up at the Building Department Office in City Hall.
Once an inspection has been completed, property owners whose property does not require a re-inspection will receive their Certificate of Compliance within 1-5 business days. The certificate should be displayed somewhere in the building - inside a cupboard door would suffice.
If the building inspector determines that there are code violations that need to be addressed, a notice will be sent to the property owner / manager outlining the violations. It is ultimately the property owner's responsibility to correct those issues noted in the inspection report, even if the violations were caused by the tenant.
Appealing Inspection Results
Any determinations made by the City's housing inspectors regarding inspected rental unit(s) may be appealed to the Construction Board of Appeals. The appeal must be made within 10 days of the date of notice from the Building Department that there were one or more violations in the inspection report. A $25 non-refundable fee will be charged for each appeal.
Records of Housing Inspections Available
Records of all inspections are permanently maintained in the Midland Building Department. A review of documents resulting from a specific inspection may be requested through the Building Department.