Vacated Properties

Due to economic conditions, mortgage fraud, foreclosures and increased bankruptcies, many homes have become vacant and unsupervised. There is an increased instance of unsecured or open doors and windows, broken water pipes, theft of metals and other materials, overgrowth of grass, weeds, shrubs and bushes, illegal dumping and vermin activity at vacant structures. In many cases, the interiors of the structures have been intentionally or negligently damaged by the former occupants or trespassers. Vacant properties have a negative impact on surrounding properties and neighborhoods.

Vacant Properties & Property Values
Potential buyers are deterred by the presence of nearby vacant abandoned buildings. Such neglect devalues properties and causes deterioration in the community. Many of the vacated properties over time have fallen in disrepair so as to fail to meet even the minimum standards of the International Property Maintenance Code, adopted by the City Commission under previous resolution. Previously, we have not had the mechanism to inspect a vacated property and require code compliance. Further, it is important for the City to be able to contact owners of vacant properties for fire safety and police purposes.

Vacant Properties Ordinance
Bloomfield Hills has recently pass the Vacated Properties Ordinance (Ordinance 375), requiring that an owner of a vacant property register the property with the City. Ordinance No. 375 requires that homes that have been vacated for a period of 30 days or more must be registered with the City and inspected for compliance with the Property Maintenance Code. The term “vacated” means that the former owner has no intent or ability to re-occupy the premises.

This definition does not apply to instances of extended vacations or rehabilitation. Title may be transferred at any time but occupancy is not permitted until all violations have been corrected and a re-certification of occupancy has been issued. The checklist below is used by the Building Official during inspection and is for the vacant property owner's information only.