Rental Housing

The following should serve as a guide for the registration process:

City of Southfield Rental Registration Ordinance No. 1656 requires all one (1) and two (2) family, rented or leased dwellings be registered and inspected every two years. Failure for the owner or the agent of the owner to comply is a municipal civil infraction, punishable by a fine of up to $500.00 not including costs.  Additionally, the city may request equitable relief to ensure compliance with the above referenced ordinance.


  1. Submit an application for Rental Registration (interactive PDF) and the $200.00 registration fee (checks payable to the City of Southfield).
  2. Arrange a date and time for the inspections with the Rental Registration Coordinator. Inspections take place weekdays and are scheduled for a three hour time frame either in the morning (9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.) or in the afternoon (12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.). An adult must be present during the entire three hour time period in order to allow the building inspector and the electrical inspector to gain access.
  3. If housing code violations are cited, you are given thirty days to obtain any permits which may be required by the Southfield Building Department, make the necessary corrections, and schedule follow-up inspections.
  4. The rental certificate, required by Ordinance No. 1656, is issued after all the cited violations are corrected, and approved by inspection.
  5. In two years, the certificate expires and you must contact the City of Southfield to start the certification process from the beginning. It is recommended that you start the renewal process 30 days prior to a current certificates expiration date.