Code Enforcement

I Received a Letter...

A letter from the Code Enforcement Section indicates violations of City ordinances have been observed on property you own or is under your control. While many citizens properly maintain their property, sometimes a letter from Code Enforcement is needed as a reminder of their responsibilities.

Points to Consider If You Receive a Letter

Be sure you understand what the violations are and what must be done to correct them. Consider a quick phone call to the inspector to review the letter if further explanations are needed. Be sure you know the compliance date, which is the date you must have the violations corrected by. Contact the inspector to see if you are eligible for an extension if additional time is required. If you received a letter for property you no longer own, contact us. In some cases, there may be a gap in time from when a property is sold to when the City records are updated to reflect the transfer of ownership.

In all cases, correct the violations as soon as practical. Do not wait until the last day to begin repairs. Failure to correct the violations could cause the City to send a contractor out to abate the violation.

In the case of nuisance violations, the City could abate the nuisance and send you a bill with added administrative fees.

Nuisance Inspections & Abatements

The Code Enforcement Section is responsible for enforcing nuisance ordinances. Inspections are generated through citizen complaints or routine surveys by inspectors. Once notified by the City, failure to correct the violation will result in the City’s abatement of the violation, with fees charged against the real property.

Nuisance Examples

Over Height Grass & Weeds

Yard maintenance standards are the responsibility of every property owner and include the maintenance of plant material on private property as well as in any right-of-way around the property. Grass and weeds must be maintained at eight inches or less.

Other Vegetation Maintenance Standards

Plant material other than turf grass in the city right-of-way (parkway) shall not exceed 24 inches in height with blossoms not in excess of 36 inches in height.

All vegetation, trees or shrubs must not prevent the free and unobstructed travel of pedestrians upon sidewalks, or vehicles on streets and alleys. The branches of a tree extending over any public sidewalk, street or other public way should be trimmed to a height of no less than eight feet above the sidewalk and 14 feet above the street.

Vegetation at intersections must be trimmed as to not negatively affect traffic or pedestrians safety by impairing the visibility or passage of pedestrians or vehicles.

Junk, Trash & Debris

Junk, trash and debris cannot be left in the yard and must be properly disposed of. This includes junk auto parts, appliances, furniture, building materials, tires, trash such as discarded paper, cardboard, plastics, etc., and debris such as tree trimmings, fallen limbs or other landscape waste. Generally, any equipment, materials, or furnishings that would ordinarily not be used outdoors may not be stored outdoors.

Inoperative Motor Vehicles

An inoperative vehicle is a vehicle that not equipped with all parts that are required to legally and safely operate on public streets and/or cannot be driven under its own power. An inoperative motor vehicle on private property must be stored within a fully enclosed structure completely out of view of the public.

Yard Parking

All vehicles must be parked on an approved surface. Parking is permitted for passenger cars and motorcycles on residential lots only on a legal driveway. A driveway or parking area must be constructed with approved parking surfaces. Parking in the front yard or between the curb and sidewalk is not allowed under City Ordinance.

Nuisance Abatement

Although voluntary compliance is the ultimate goal in sending a nuisance violation notice, there are times when the property owner does not take immediate action to correct the situation. Failure to comply with a nuisance notice will result in City abatement of the violation. City contractors will mow overgrown grass and weeds, remove garbage and debris from a property or tow inoperative motor vehicles from private property. The fees for these services plus an administrative fee is charged against the real property for the abatement activity.

File a Nuisance Complaint

Registering a complaint about a property can be completed by using the City's online complaint system or contacting our office.

If you would like to register a complaint about a property in your neighborhood, you may be asked to furnish some basic information that will help us to respond to your inspection request. You can submit a complaint by:

  • Call City Hall at 517-589-8236.
  • Email Chief Bennehoff, Code Enforcement.

When you call, you may be asked the following questions.

  • What Is the Property Address?
  • The location of the address will help identify the property in question. The inspector will not be able to respond to general addresses such as “the one hundred block of North Main.”
  • Can the Problem Be Seen from a Public-Right-of-Way?
  • The inspector does not walk onto occupied private property to view violations. If the violation can be seen from the public right-of-way (sidewalk, alley, and street), the inspector can issue the appropriate notices.
  • Does the Inspector Have Permission to Access Your Property to View a Problem?
  • If the inspector cannot see a problem from a public right-of-way, please let them know if they can enter onto your property to see a particular problem.

Do I Have to Give You May Name When I Register a Complaint?

No. If you are registering a complaint, you do not have to leave your name. When you register a complaint, your identity remains anonymous.

If I Do Leave My Name, Will You Tell the Other Property Owner My Name?

No. Your name will not be given to anyone. When a property maintenance inspector observes a violation, the issue is not who registered the complaint, but if there is a violation.

How Long Will It Take?

An inspector will respond to your complaint within 7 business days. If you don’t see immediate results, it may be because we are required to provide notice to the property owner and allow them time to comply before the City can take abatement action or process the case through the legal system.

Property Maintenance

As we age, many of us will take steps to maintain and improve our health. The neighborhoods and structures in Leslie likewise require maintenance to stay in good health. Individual structures and neighborhoods that are poorly maintained cost citizens more money; depress property values, and foster vandalism and crime.

The best solution to maintaining good neighborhoods is for everyone to voluntarily comply with a standard of maintenance agreed upon by the community.

Unfortunately, some property owners are unable to meet the expectations of the community without some help or additional incentives. That is why citizens have asked government to enforce minimum property maintenance standards. Enforcement of these standards protects surrounding property owners and tenants, who might otherwise suffer substandard conditions.

The Housing Code requires that structures be maintained in a sound, sanitary condition and all parts must be in good repair and working order.

What Kind of Property Maintenance Is Required?

  • All exterior surfaces must be sealed against rain, weather, insects and other pests.
  • Doors, windows and screens must be in good repair, operate properly, and be locked.
  • Driveways, sidewalks, etc. must be in good repair and free of debris.
  • Fencing is erect and in good repair. No missing sections or boards.
  • Paint or other preservative treatment is required to prevent weathering and deterioration of the structure’s parts.
  • Repair rotted wood, broken or missing boards, siding, roof shingles, soffit, fascia, stairs, railings, fences, and walls.

Nuisance Fees/Property Liens

Nuisance Fees are fees the City of Leslie charges to an individual property owner for services performed on their property that are beyond basic city services. Examples of Nuisance Fees would be house board-ups, grass cutting, red tag monitoring, snow removal, and excess trash removal. If the initial billing of the Nuisance Fee is not paid by the property owner, that fee is placed on the upcoming tax roll.

This assessment is a lien against the real property from the date of service, not from the date of being placed on property taxes.

We provide this data WITHOUT WARRANTY of any kind, expressed or inferred. If you are trying to obtain this information for the purpose of a title search, please contact the City at 517-589-8236 to obtain assessment information for any fees that are due outside of property taxes.


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