When Michelle Pye and her family moved into their home in November, they just assumed everything was up to code.
After a fire swept through the Bramell Street house this week, 7 Action News has learned that no one should have been allowed to live there.
"You trust people's word. And you want to do business with them and then you find out they're playing you because they know you need somewhere to live," said Pye after 7 Action News informed her that, according to records with the City of Detroit, the property owner never obtained a Certificate of Registration for the rental property or a Certificate of Compliance that could only have been issued after the house was inspected.
Pye and her family believe the fire started because of an electrical issue.
David Bell, Director for Detroit's Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department (BSEED), says renters should demand to see the official certificates.
Bell says any resident can find out if the property they're renting is in compliance by calling (313) 628-2451.
We're told BSEED is eager to work with property owners to get the proper approvals needed to rent properties, but they must be in compliance with all laws and safety regulations.
Valuable information on renting properties is available at detroitmi.gov/rental.