Detroit Lead Paint Inspection

Helping property owners make sense of the Detroit Lead Ordinance since its inception.

Keep Your Rentals Compliant

The Detroit Ordinance requires property owners to be compliant with rental home lead testing rules. The goal of the ordinance is to improve public health and safety for Detroit's residents.

We know lead safety is important, but we also understand the costs involved and the challenges you face. So, we're here to help you make sense of the rules, provide recommendations on how you can reach compliance, and most importantly- make sure you get the most for your time, money and energy.

ETC has helped property owners like you fulfill compliance requirement by offering not only lead inspections but training, and consulting as well. We ask the important questions to find out what your particular needs are, enabling you to spend where you have to – and save money where you can.

Let ETC help you find the right solution for your property, and you’ll discover why thousands of property owners trust ETC with their compliance needs!

Learn more about Lead Paint Inspections

Our e-book includes requirements, solutions, and tips for passing inspection.

Single Family

Click to buy for $550

LEAD COMBO - 1,000 - 2,500 SQ. FT.
Single Family

Click to buy for $650



Click to buy for $1150

Lead Paint Inspection FAQs

The 2010 amendment to the Detroit City Code, Chapter 9, Article 1, Division 3 requires the following:

  • “Owners of rental property built before 1978 in the City of Detroit must have a lead inspection and risk assessment performed to determine the presence of lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards.”
  • “If lead-based paint hazards exist, the hazards must be reduced or controlled using interim controls and/or abatement (as defined by State Law) prior to a tenant occupying the rental property.”
  • “After Interim Controls and/or Abatement are performed by properly trained and certified and individuals, the owner must obtain a clearance inspection and lead clearance. Owners must obtain this lead clearance in order to receive a Certificate of Compliance and Rental Registration from the City.”

To rent a property legally within the City of Detroit, one must obtain a Certificate of Rental Registration. This can not be achieved without having a lead clearance.

There are also penalties for non-compliance. The fees vary based on the size of the building, but they range from $500-$2000 for single-family/ duplex owners to $2000 -$8000 for Apartment owners. These penalties can continue daily until compliance is achieved.

Under current laws, the state of Michigan makes landlords responsible for lead paint in their rental property.

It’s a criminal offense in the State of Michigan to rent a residential unit to a family with a minor child who is found to have an elevated blood lead level where the property owner or manager has knowledge that the rental unit contains a lead-based paint hazard. (MCL 333.5475a.)

The penalties that can incur after such an incidence is up to 93 days in jail and/or fines as high as $5000 for first-time offenders, and double that for repeat offenders.

On a smaller scale, it is a violation of the Detroit City Code to maintain a rental property that has lead hazards. Section 24-10-25 of the code states that it is ”unlawful for any owner to maintain a dwelling unit in a condition where lead hazards present danger of lead poisoning to children who inhabit the dwelling.”

The penalty from the city can be as harsh as $500 a day until the said hazard is fixed and cleared.

Federal law requires landlords to disclose all known lead hazards to tenants at the time of lease or lease renewal. This disclosure must occur even if the hazards have been removed, reduced or abated. Not disclosing this information is a violation of HUD, the US Department of Housing, and the EPA. The violations start at $11,000 per agency and violation.

In previous versions of these rental laws, the lead was generally not identified until someone, generally, a child had already been exposed to lead via the paint.

Lead poisoning is not reversible, and they can last a lifetime and an ounce of prevention with lead paint is more viable than any cure. The new laws allow for the prevention of pain and suffering and improve the quality of life for all citizens within the city of Detroit.

The City of Detroit Buildings and Safety Engineering department is responsible for the regulations and changes to the city’s ordinance. They can be reached by phone at 800-450-2503

  • If you’ve never had a Lead-based paint inspection before.
  • If you had an inspection and used interim controls and a clearance, your inspection should be done annually.
  • If you had an inspection and used abatement procedures, your inspections should be done every three years.
  • If you had an inspection and no lead paint was found, or the home was fully abated, you require no further lead inspections or risk assessments.

Unless you are a certified lead paint inspector within the state of Michigan, you cannot do your own inspections. These services can be provided by a certified Lead Inspector/Risk assessor within the State of Michigan. The Michigan Department of Community Health is in charge of licensing these professionals. ETC employs well over 20 certified lead technicians and is well versed in dealing with the city of Detroit’s rules and regulations. However, if you’d like to see a list of other Lead Safe Inspectors you can find one here!

For a Lead Inspection/Risk Assessment, the prices can vary depending on the size of the facility, age of the house, and the number of rooms. Generally, you’re looking at anywhere from $500-$700 for an initial single family home inspection. Multi-family inspections can be a significant amount more and are generally based on the number of units tested.

For a Lead Clearance, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300-$500 depending on the size of the home and how many hazards were found. Multifamily units are again priced per unit and contingent on common areas and number of rooms.

Abatement: This method of control seeks to act to reduce levels of lead, particularly in the home environment. Generally, this permanently eliminates lead-based paint hazards. This is done in order to reduce or eliminate incidents of lead poisoning. This involves either the complete removal and replacement of lead-based paint surfaces and fixtures or encapsulation of hazardous materials. This also branches out to the removal and covering of soil hazards. The process of abatement includes preparation, cleanup, disposal, and post-abatement clearances. All abatement work must be performed by a state certified lead abatement firm.

Interim Controls: A less permanent, yet generally lower in immediate cost method of dealing with lead paint hazards. This method is designed to temporarily solve the problem. Interim controls include, but are not limited to :

  • Specialized cleaning
  • Repairs
  • General Maintenence
  • Painting
  • Temporary Containment
  • Ongoing monitoring of lead-based paint or hazards
  • Resident Education

The temporary nature is why Interim options require more frequent monitoring than houses which have been abated.

Abatement must be done by a certified abatement worker. This individual has been trained and specialized to perform this task, and has been certified by the Michigan Department of Community health to perform abatement.

Any certified renovator, with accredited training from the state of Michigan Department of Community Health, and has an up-to-date issued certificate can perform renovations and interim controls. These individuals can also act as directors of subcontractors to others who supervise while the renovations are being performed.

As a rental owner, you can. But you must be trained as a certified renovator in order to perform interim controls or renovations that disturb more than 6 square feet of paint per room or 20 feet total.

The good news is, it doesn’t take much to become certified. You or someone on your staff must take the 8-hour Renovate, Repair, and Painting course f from any certified Renovator Trainer. Environmental Testing and Consulting also specializes in this form of training, and we run these classes often. If you are unable to attend one in our Romulus or Lansing branch, you can find more trainers here.

Get Certified Here

  • Call 1-800-450-2503 and obtain a certificate of Rental Registration for each of your properties.
  • Schedule a lead inspection /risk assessment for your properties.
  • Hire a contractor, or take classes yourself, so that the hazards may be addressed which are highlighted in the Lead Inspection/Risk Assessment report.
  • Obtain a Lead Clearance, and send it to ‘Building, Safety Engineering, and Environmental Department” @ 313-628-2451

City of Detroit, Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Development

“New Lead Ordinance Requirements for Rental Property Owners”

Want to get lead certified?

As an accredited training provider for EPA, OSHA, and HUD certifications, we offer Lead Certification and refresher training courses.

Our Detroit Branch

ETC's Detroit branch has an exceptional level of expertise when it comes to the Detroit Lead Paint Ordinance, and can help you get into compliance, without sacrificing your bottom line.