Lansing mayor Tony Benavides is taking steps to rid the city of run-down houses.
Tuesday he announced a lawsuit, filed by the city, against a property management company that owns 12 houses that don't meet the city's housing code.
"What we're trying to do is take a more aggressive action against a company that has failed to live up to the obligations of code compliance," said Paul Novak, Lansing city prosecutor.
The company is Young and Young, LCC, which owns 12 dilapidated houses around Lansing.
Mayor Benavides said he hopes this lawsuit will send a clear message to other landlords who may be slacking off when it comes to maintaining their property
"We have initiated a new era of code enforcement for the city," Benavides said. "We're going to make these people responsible."
If the city wins, a receiver would be appointed. That's a kind of "middle man" who would fix up and sell the houses or demolish them if they're beyond repair.