'Insect infested' Detroit-area hotal condemned; inspectors find feces, vomit in hallways

FERNDALE, MICH. - The Royal Inn Motel on 8 Mile, once featured in a YouTube special on America's dirtiest motels, has been condemned, forcing hundreds of residents to relocate.

Royal Oak Township Supervisor Donna Squalls said the condemnation notice was posted today after operators failed to fix numerous code violations.

"The Royal Inn has not maintained the premises to minimum code, has 17 fire code violations and 33 building code violations," Squalls said in a statement. "There are life-safety issues that the owner has not addressed in a timely manner and cannot be further postponed without endangering the lives of residents."

Among the violations:

  • Failure to maintain the building in a safe and sanitary condition.
  • Failure to remove an insect infestation.
  • Failure to maintain smoke and fire alarms.
  • Failure to provide adequate sleeping facilities for tenants.

Inspectors found animal urine and feces, human waste and vomit, and trash and other debris in hallways. Many of the rooms had mattresses on the floors. In some rooms, tubs and toilets didn't work, according to inspectors.

A message left for the motel's owner was not returned.

The 200-room motel, on the north side of 8 Mile just east of Scotia, has several hundred residents. It rents rooms for $35 a night. The condemnation notice gives residents until Tuesday to vacate.

"We're going to be on site (Friday) to offer what assistance we can to help these people transition from the Royal Inn," said Shane Bies of the Oakland County Health Division. "We realize that some of these people will have a place to go, and some might not."

In addition to the health division, officials from the United Way, the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities and others will be available to assist residents, Squalls said.

"The township board of trustees and leadership are most concerned with the welfare of the people staying and working at the Royal Inn," Squalls said. "These are some of our most needy and impoverished citizens."

The motel has been the site of crimes and emergency issues.

In August 1985, when it was known as the Northlander Inn, its manager, Ramaniklal Doshi, 45, was shot dead during a robbery.

In 2013, a guest was charged with attempted murder for pushing his girlfriend out a third-floor window and then proceeding downstairs to beat her on the ground. She lived.

"This structure is to be closed and padlocked on Sept. 5, 2017," township building official Jim Wright wrote in the condemnation notice. If the violations aren't completed within a week of the closing, the township will order the building demolished, Wright said. 

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© 2017 Detriot Free Press


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