Blue Tarps & Outdoor Furniture

The first ordinance prohibits the use of large tarps outside. Several houses around campus can be seen using large blue tarps as structures to enclose parties. This use of a tarp technically creates a “dangerous structure”, which is prohibited in Chapter 106, 9:4 of the Ann Arbor Municode. In addition, the Ann Arbor Fire Department requires a permit to put up a tent, which is how these tarps could be classified. It is recommended that students apply for a tent permit to follow the law of the city.


The other off campus housing practice that is seen frequently is the placement of regular furniture in outdoor spaces (such as couches on porches, balconies, or exposed areas). This is prohibited in the Municode in Chapter 106, 9:7. This section outlines outdoor storage and specifically states, “No responsible person shall place, or permit to remain, upholstered furniture which is not intended or designed for outdoor use on exterior balconies, porches, decks, landings, or other areas exposed to the weather.” Violation of this ordinance can result in quite a large fine of up to $1,000, so keep your nice furniture inside! You can also report problems seen in your neighborhood to A2 Fix It. Furniture designed for outdoor use is allowed and can be a perfect replacement to make your outdoor space comfortable.


If you would like to find out more on ordinances in Ann Arbor, follow the link to the city’s Municode site. Some of these small laws may not be very well known to the student community, but they come with large fines if violated. Don’t be subjected to paying for these easy fixes and have fun outdoors in safe and legal settings.


-Contributed by Anne E., Neighborhood Ambassador