The Dirty Half-Dozen: Part IV – Blight Busters

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

What is blight?  You may not know the legal definition, but you’ll know it when you see it.  Especially, when you live next door to it.

Blight can be that pile of junk that never quite made it to the scrap yard or busted up cabinets from the last do-it-yourself project that never got thrown out.  Blight can also be the nasty words some budding “artist” spray painted on a garage or a junk-mobile that going to be restored “some day.”  Whatever it is, blight ain’t right.

So what do we do to fight blight?  We are always looking for signs of blighting conditions when on our daily patrols.  If we see evidence of blight, a Violation Notice is issued to the property owner to clean up within 10 days.  More time can be allowed if the owner needs it and is showing good faith in attempting to clean it up.

But, inevitably, some folks just don’t get the idea and a Civil Infraction Ticket is issued.  Even then, there are property owners who just won’t clean up and that’s when we step in with a court issued Order of Injunctive Relief.  That’s legalese for “the City cleans up the mess.”  The property owner is subsequently billed and the cost can be placed as a lien on the property.

As always, we ask your help to fight blight.  Often our vantage point from the street or sidewalk doesn’t afford us a view of the mess.  If you are a neighbor of a blighted property, please report it to us and, if possible, allow us to discretely enter your yard to observe the junk.  Feel free to contact us at 248-364-6900 or at  We have to view it to take any legal action.

Together, we can be “Blight Busters” and keep Auburn Hills clean.