Whether dealing with an absentee landlord or a building that isn’t quite up to code, when it comes to resolving issues that renters sometimes face, legal advising is essential. Too often, the expense of hiring an attorney limits access to justice for those who are most vulnerable to subpar housing conditions. For this reason, the Ford Resource and Engagement Center (FREC) has partnered with the Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center to offer a free legal aid clinic to provide the community with access to free legal advising.

As a tenant, it’s important to know your rights, and to that end our friend Attorney Kevin Piecuch, who operates the largest free legal clinic in the city of Detroit offers the following,

Three Tips for Detroit Tenants:

1. Have an updated lease

Photo: YouTube/FREC City

Your written apartment lease is the most important legal document between you and your landlord. Make sure you have one! Whether it’s a fixed-term lease or a month-to-month situation, be sure that any agreements between you and your landlord is documented on your lease.

2. Insist on an inspection

Photo: YouTube/FREC City

In October of 2017, the City of Detroit updated its rental regulations making it mandatory for every rental property in the city must have an inspection certificate. If your building has not been inspected upon rental and is later found to be out of compliance with city standards, it could mean an inconvenient eviction. Avoid the drama. Make sure your building has been inspected.

3. Visit the FREC today

Photo: YouTube/FREC City

If you have any questions about your housing situation, come to the FREC Free Legal Aid Clinic where our partners from the Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center will review any document and give advice on anything related to your living situation.

FREE legal aid is available at FREC D1 every Wednesday from noon – 6:30 pm, and at FREC D2 every Thursday from noon – 5 pm. Don’t hesitate to stop in to speak with a certified legal counselor about your housing rental issues.


FREC (D1): 2826 Bagley Ave, Detroit, MI 48216 | PH: 313.962.4888  *Ask for Carmen

FREC (D2): 15491 Maddelein St., Detroit, MI 48205 | PH: 313.733.1240  *Ask for Justin


The Ford Resource and Engagement Center (FREC) is a client-directed community center where people can learn new skills, obtain needed services, develop new talents and celebrate community. Made possible by grants from Ford Motor Company Fund, The Ford Resource and Engagement Center brings together non-profit partners to serve the surrounding community. 

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