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Updates on City of Grand Rapids Rental Housing Enforcement During Virus Lockdown

This morning at 10:00 a.m., the RPOA was informed that the City of Grand Rapids will continue to enforce outside and interior violations where they pose a health and safety concern. In the answer to what that might include from an exterior point of view, the city noted some of the following:

  • Bags of trash.
  • Chipped paint on the ground.
  • Broken windows.
  • Damaged roofs that may cause structural damage or where it is causing leaks into the property.
  • Piles of brush, wood, etc. that might harbor rodents.
  • Overgrown shrubs or trees blocking sidewalks.


What the city noted was not considered an immediate concern (at least not yet) are leaves and tall grass. The city also acknowledged that the Governor’s executive order specifically states no landscaping work.

As for interior violations, the city is relying on tenants to file complaints and will follow up on them where they are deemed to be a health and safety concern.

The RPOA confirmed with the city that the police department and the prosecutor’s office are aware of this policy and will not penalize landlords and managers for addressing conditions as noted above. Of course, any work should be done following the guidance of safe work practices for lead and those stipulated to avoid spreading the virus. Some deferrals are being made for those that believe the work to address certain issues would compromise their health (such as senior citizens or others with comprised health issues).

The city encouraged landlords and managers or maintenance companies to contact them if they have questions about whether or not a specific issue or condition warrants addressing under executive orders and to discuss deferment if that seems appropriate. The phone number to call is (616) 456-3053. Some updates are also being posted on the city’s website.

Rental certifications are currently on hold and no date was given for when they might resume.

The RPOA will remain in contact with the Grand Rapids city inspection and enforcement department and provide any updates as necessary. As for other cities, the RPOA recommends contacting them individually to determine how they are handling the same issues. Each community seems to be taking a different approach.


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