Filing a Housing or Sanitation Complaint

If your complaint is concerning an environmental emergency, please call 911 to report the incident.

The Washtenaw County Environmental Health Division responds to housing complaints, food service establishment complaints, and other issues involving unsanitary conditions. Common complaints we receive include restaurant employees not wearing gloves while handling food, mold in an apartment, bedbugs in a motel, sewage surfacing from a failing septic system, and tattoos being performed in someone's home.

File a Complaint

Please be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Your Name, Address, and Phone Number (this can be kept confidential, but we need this information to formally file the complaint)
  • Name of apartment / hotel / restaurant, etc. you are filing the complaint against
  • Location of apartment / hotel / restaurant, etc. (it must be in Washtenaw County)
  • Name and contact information for management / person responsible
  • Nature of complaint, including detailed description (pictures can be helpful) and a summary of what actions have been taken thus far to resolve the matter

Complaints as a Renter

If you are a renter and are would like to file a complaint about your apartment or home, please talk to your landlord or apartment management company about the issue first. If the problem is not resolved in a reasonable amount of time, then contact our office to file a complaint.

What We Will Do

  • Washtenaw County Environmental Health staff will call you to discuss the complaint or incident and gather more information including whom you have reported the incident to, and what you and the responsible party have done to help resolve the situation.
  • We will then call the responsible party to see if they are aware of the issue, and what they are doing to remediate the situation.
  • Our role is often to serve as a mediator or communicator between the complainant and the responsible party, and clarify the roles and responsibilities of both parties. We also provide information to both parties regarding environmental issues.

What We Will Not Do

  • Washtenaw County Environmental Health does not have the equipment or resources to test for mold, detect odors or other harmful substances, spray for mosquitoes, etc. We can help you find companies that can provide these services for you.
  • In many cases, it is not necessary for us to make a site visit to verify the complaint. We have found that most incidents are resolved when we are able to get the two parties communicating, and when we can clarify the expectations of both parties. Some situations, however, will involve a site visit by our staff. We will also refer some complaints, as appropriate, to other local or state agencies.
  • We do not handle basic customer service complaints such as rude staff, lost reservations, or wrong food orders. Please report these incidents to the facility's management.
  • We cannot assist in breaking a lease agreement, receiving a security deposit refund, or suing responsible parties. Please seek legal counsel for assistance in these matters.
  • We cannot provide medical advice. If you have concerns about your health, please see your health care provider.