FAQS Frequently Asked Questions (Click each question to display the answer)

Frequently Asked Questions
Why does Pontiac engage in Code Enforcement?
The City wants to ensure that all residents, property owners, and visitors are able to enjoy the city and their neighborhoods without having to experience a property that is in a deteriorated state or have a poorly maintained property negatively affect property values or quality of life.   Maintaining a property in a safe and attractive appearance is acting as a good neighbor to those living or working around you.
How does Code Enforcement work?
The City becomes aware of code enforcement issues two ways:  1) Code Enforcement Officers proactively patrol the streets of the City daily looking for code enforcement issues within their service districts; or 2) a complaint is received via the website, by telephone, or in person and an officer is dispatched to conduct an inspection.  If a code enforcement violation is witnessed, the Code Enforcement Officer takes a picture of the violation, attempts to speak with someone at the site regarding the issue, and sends an Official Warning Notice letter to the property owner if a verbal warning isn’t able to be given.   This letter stipulates how long the owner has to correct the problem.  If the problem is addressed, the officer conducts a follow-up inspection, notes that the violation has been corrected in the City’s computer system, and the case is closed.  If not, the property owner receives a Civil Infraction Citation and if the citation is not addressed, an appearance at 50th District Court will be required.
What are Code Enforcement Violations?
Code enforcement violations occur when a property owner or responsible party violates one of the City’s ordinances, State Laws, or the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code that deal with exterior property maintenance, nuisance, sign, rental, zoning, and other code enforcement violations.  Typical issues include debris, disabled vehicles, dumping, property maintenance, dangerous buildings, lack of businesses licenses, and a number of other matters.
If I receive an Official Warning Notice letter, what should I do?
Work to correct the violation before the date listed on the letter.  DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE.  If you require additional time to correct the issue, please contact the Code Enforcement Officer by telephone or in person at the office to request additional time to cure the violation.  If you are making progress on correcting the violation, it is likely that additional time will be granted.  Please remember that certain corrective actions may require proper permits.
How much are Code Enforcement tickets?
First offense is $100, second offense is $300, and third and subsequent offenses are $500 each.  Tickets may be written each day the offense is not corrected.
How do I make a report to Code Enforcement regarding a potential property maintenance issue?
You may call the Code Enforcement Division’s complaint line at (248) 758-2832, by logging onto the City’s website and entering a complaint from the Code Enforcement Divisions webpage at
https://bsaonline.com/CitizensRequestForAction/Submit?uid=825&sitetransition=true, or by visiting the Code Enforcement Division at City Hall and verbally making a complaint.
Are there issues that Code Enforcement does not control?
Yes.  Code Enforcement does not resolve issues relative to property line disputes, healthy tree limbs hanging over property lines, subdivision covenants, or deed restrictions.  These items are civil matters to be handled by an attorney.
What are the issues that Code Enforcement most regularly face?
Many of the items are related to property maintenance issues including:  1) not cutting the grass; 2) parking inoperable vehicles at properties, 3) parking vehicles on front yards and unpaved areas; 4) not maintaining the main structure and ancillary structures including garages in good repair which includes chipping paint and deteriorated trim; 5) maintaining cleanliness of properties including not keeping garbage or debris in yards; and 6) not shoveling snow in winter time.  There are many other items that Code Enforcement is concerned about including businesses operating without the proper licenses and permits, registration of vacant properties, renting unregistered rental properties, and a host of other violations.
Under what ordinances and codes does Code Enforcement issue its citations?
Code Enforcement utilizes a variety of local and state laws and the International Property Maintenance Code to work to maintain clean, healthy, and safe communities.  Local ordinances include:  1) maintaining animals; 2) vacant property registration; 3) business licensing; 4) condemnation and property nuisances; and 5) the Pontiac Zoning Ordinance.  State Laws include:  the Michigan Building Code.  The current national standard that also governs is the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code.   This code governs the maintenance of all properties within the City, and it is periodically updated the by International Code Council.
What is the International Property Maintenance Code?
The International Property Maintenance Code is an international recognized and used code book designed to provide minimum standards to safeguard life or limb, health, property and public welfare by regulating and controlling the use and occupancy, location and maintenance of all residential buildings and structures within the jurisdiction of Pontiac.  This international code has been adopted by the City of Pontiac, and its provisions are enforced by the Code Enforcement Division.  The code is updated periodically by the International Code Council.
What is Rental Registration or Vacant Property Registration, why, and how much does it cost?
To ensure the appearance and safety of all residential rental properties within Pontiac, the City has a local ordinance that requires properties to be either registered as Vacant or as a Residential Rental.  Vacant properties that the owner has no intention to rent must be registered with the City every year for $500.  Vacant properties are often poorly maintained and blight the neighborhoods where they are located.  Residential properties that are available for rent must have a Rental Inspection to insure that the apartment or home is safe and up-to-code.  Properties for rent must be inspected every three years and the fee is $300.  Each unit must also be inspected, and the cost is $100 per unit.  Home owners that only own a single home in the State of Michigan should file the required paperwork with the Oakland County Assessor to have their property assessed at the lower Homestead property tax rate.
Where may I park my car?
All vehicles stored outside must be parked on a permanently paved (asphalt, concrete, brick, or other solid dustless surface) driveway.  All vehicles must be in operable condition and have a current year tab on their license plate.