Originally Posted By: gromicko
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(August 19, 2004) – A Circuit Court in Wayne County, Mich., has ordered the city of Detroit to stop enforcing a 28-year-old rule that required homes in the city to be inspected before they were bought or sold.
The order is in response to a lawsuit and subsequent appeal to the state Supreme Court by a real estate investment group. The court found the 1976 housing inspection ordinance to be invalid because guidelines for the inspections were never formally approved by the Detroit City Council.
Over the past 28 years, residents have paid fees as high as $365 to have the city conduct electrical, plumbing, and structural inspections on single- and two-family homes before they could be sold.
The order doesn't prohibit the city from providing inspections to residents who request them. It only stops the city from mandating inspections.
Real estate practitioners across the metro area who sell homes in the city were reeling from the news, which they say radically changed homebuying in Detroit. Buyers now will have to request private inspections.
"In the past it worked for us, it helped people to get into quality homes," says Gerry Hebron, president-elect of the Detroit Association of REALTORS?. "We always thought the inspections were good for people with little to no money to do repairs."
The rule has not been completely thrown out, but no decision can be made until the city council returns from its recess after Labor Day. Officials may decide to formally approve the old ordinance or to develop brand-new guidelines for housing inspections.
Source: Detroit Free Press (08/18/04); Bello, Marisol
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