Rental Housing & Inspections

The Community Planning & Development Department oversees the Rental Registration & Certification Program to help ensure safe and sanitary rental housing within the City of Kalamazoo. The program requires all rental property to be registered as such and pass periodic inspections. Upon a satisfactory inspection, a Certificate of Compliance will be issued (compliance with the City of Kalamazoo Housing CodeChapter 17 of the Code of Ordinances). Every rental property is subject to inspection including single family homes, multi-unit apartments, and hotels/motels renting rooms on a nightly basis. A standard Certificate of Compliance is good for 28 months; however property owners who meet certain criteria may be eligible for a 40 month certificate. In addition to the periodic inspections, Housing Inspectors also respond to tenant complaints as needed.

The International Code Council's International Property Maintenance Code is adopted as the residential property maintenance standard of the Housing Code. Local addendums to the IPMC are found in Chapter 17-48.

A list of registered properties is maintained online here. You can search by the property owner's name or the property address to verify if a property is certified.


Register a rental property

Rental properties may be registered entirely online by completing this form. You may also complete an pdf Application for Rental Registration (250 KB) and submit it by mail, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or fax. If you are submitting applications for multiple properties, it may be beneficial to complete the fields of the PDF that will not change and make a photocopy or print for each property. City staff will review your application and contact you to schedule an inspection, typically within a few days. 

Short-term Rentals

The Zoning Ordinance designates short-term rentals as a commercial enterprise, only permitted in certain zoning districts. These would include rentals let by the night or week.   Residential rental property typically has rental terms of 30 days or more.  The city regularly reviews online websites such as VRBO, Airbnb, Homestay and other websites for short term rentals operating in the city.  Please contact the Zoning Inspector or Zoning Administrator more information on short-term rentals by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 269-337-8026. 

Other Rental Information and Forms:

pdf Rental Inspection Rules (28 KB)

pdf Responsibilities of the Rental Property Owner and Local Agent (65 KB)

pdf Request for Removal from Rental Registration (49 KB)

pdf Residential Code Requirements for Smoke Detectors, February 2016 (309 KB)

pdf Open Ground Violations (220 KB)

pdf Handrail Information (218 KB)

pdf Pre-Sale Inspection for Residential Rental Property (132 KB)

pdf Rental Certificate Guarantee Deadlines (46 KB) - The City of Kalamazoo guarantees owners of rental properties the ability to earn 40 or 52 month certificates if inspections are scheduled in a timely manner according to the deadlines in this document. 

pdf Housing Inspection Checklist (138 KB)  - This list contains commonly found violations and may help you prepare for an upcoming inspection. It is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all violations that may be found. We recommended you visit your rental property prior to your renewal inspection.

Service Request Form - Submit this form to file a complaint with a rental property. Whenever possible, tenants should provide written complaints to landlords before filing a complaint with the City. Fill out the Service Request Form and submit it online (please attach written documentation to your email), or by visiting Community Planning & Development Office at 415 E Stockbridge Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49001.

Fee Schedule - The Community Planning & Development Office's fee schedule outlines the fees applicable to applications, permits, and other services of the department.

Building Board of Appeals - The Building Board of Appeals (BBA) hears appeals and approves variances to the Housing Code when certain criteria cannot reasonably be met. To request a hearing, submit an  pdf Application for Hearing (61 KB)

Background Check - for a small fee, the Michigan State Police offer an instant background check on a prospective tenant. This background check covers the entire state of Michigan. A Rap Sheet can be requested through the Freedom Of Information Act. This will provide a list of local police contacts.

pdf Off Campus Living (111 KB)  - First time renters are often unaware of community standards. This guide helps educate tenants and can help avoid fines or penalties. 

pdf Time Extension Request (36 KB)  - If you are unable to meet the deadline for a repair when cited by an inspector, you can request additional time by submitting this form. 

Bed Bugs - Living with bed bugs can be extremely stressful. The City cannot treat or dispose of infested materials, but information on dealing with bed bugs is available in the Michigan Manual for the Prevention and Control of Bed Bugs and from many other sources including the Kalamazoo County Health Department.

Fair Housing Policy Statement

Equal housing opportunity for all persons, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, familial status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability, is a fundamental policy of the City of Kalamazoo. The City of Kalamazoo is committed to diligence in assuring equal housing opportunity and non-discrimination to all aspects of its housing financing activities. The City of Kalamazoo has an ethical as well as legal imperative to work aggressively to ensure that the City of Kalamazoo financed housing programs comply fully with all state, and federal fair housing laws.

If you believe you are the victim of housing discrimination you can contact the Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan or call (269) 276-9100. Additional resources are available from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Michigan Legal Help, and Legal Aid of Western Michigan. You can also file a HUD complaint online or contact their housing discrimination hotline at 1 (800) 669-9777.

Other resources:

For people with disabilities:

City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.


 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 (269) 337-8047
 (269) 337-8182
 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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