Birmingham School District Landlords, Didja Know…

Birmingham Public SchoolsThe real estate market has turned many a hopeful seller into a reluctant landlord (or SellLord, as I have dubbed them). Yesterday I got wind of something I have never heard of before, though I can understand the motivation.

A new tenant went to enroll her children in the Birmingham public schools. The admission process is lengthy she tells me, and one of the things she was instructed to do was make sure that the landlord had rescinded the homestead exemption on the home. Well, in Birmingham and in most surrounding areas, there is a significant differences in the amount of taxes due on a non-homesteaded property. The school official told her that those funds are used for school funding, hence the district’s interest in ensuring that the exemptions are correctly rescinded.

Perhaps Birmingham has been doing this a long time. I don’t know. I also heard a rumor that either the school board or the district was researching all of the currently enrolled students living in rentals to make sure their rental home owners were paying non-homestead taxes. This is just an unsubstantiated rumor though.

Will the district enroll a student living in a rental where the homestead has not been rescinded? I assume they will. I also assume they *might* pursue some owners who have not properly rescinded, though it could be difficult proving when the property became tenant occupied if a tenant’s child was not enrolled in school.

It is a certainty that the schools and the municipalities need the funding that is due them in these tough economic times. As a property owner who has long paid non-homestead taxes I would like to think that others also willingly accept this responsibility when they rent out a home, even though I have never thought the property taxation method for non owner occupied homes was fair.

Birmingham Public Schools serve some residents of Birmingham, Beverly Hills, Franklin, Bingham Farms, Troy, Southfield, Bloomfield Hills and West Bloomfield. District Map.


  1. says

    Th term is Floplord

    It is only going to get worse here as more foreclosures flood the market combined with the retiring baby boomers selling their homes to move south and everyone who is losing their manufacturing jobs selling their house to leave.

    This is pretty much a working class area where most people who own homes only make about 20.00 an hour. You tell me how they were buying 250-400K homes for the past couple years.

    The answer is the flood of advertising by ROCK Financial and Quicken Loans offering Neg-amort mortgages, Zero down, Quick And Easy no document loans, Interest only, you name it… There was a commercial on every 30 seconds for these exotic morgages. Now the arms are adjusting, people are losing jobs, and the glut of houses are coming onto the market lowering prices.

    I don’t care where you live. Prices are going to come down to 2001 levels for sure and maybe even lower.

  2. says

    Okay this fascinates me because we have homestead tax laws too; but I think they automatically rescind at time of sale. Here (unless I am wrong, now I am going to have to check) you have to reapply if you are the new owner and homestead would be appropriate for you.
    It all just goes to show you how everyone needs money! Great info

  3. says

    Interesting differences in your “Homestead” terminology. In Colorado it has to do with an exemption of property from the reach of creditors. We typically have protection in the amount of $45,000 creditors cannot touch.

    The redemption doesn’t help with homeowners in default on the mortgage. Guess too many people took advantage of the mortgage companies, because now most mortgages require the Homestead rights to be waived at time of closing.

    The state hasn’t figured out how to tie it in with taxes. Shhhhh!


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