Advocacy Update

Forrest WallWritten by Forrest Wall, CAE, Staff Vice President and Industry Relations

Additional Rent Control Legislation Introduced

New legislation has been introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives allowing rent control in specific situations, with offsetting property tax breaks. House Bill 4686 would create a new law authorizing local units of government with the ability to limit rent for disabled individuals and senior citizens. An individual with a disability is defined in the bill as a person with either physical or mental disability that limits one or more major life activities of the individual. Senior citizen is defined in the bill as someone 62 or older, but the rent limitation would not apply to a person 70 or under unless the person has lived in their dwelling for the last 5 years. The legislation calls for local units of government with rent control ordinances to provide a property tax break to property subject to the rent control ordinance. The tax break takes the form of an exemption from ad valorem property taxes, with a specific tax taking its place. The specific tax is figured by taking the amount of tax that would have been collected on the parcel as though it was not exempt from ad valorem property tax, minus an amount determined by the local government but not exceeding the ad valorem tax. Also introduced is House Bill 4687, which amends the existing law preempting local rent control to allow for the rent control proposed under House Bill 4686.

These new bills join HB 4456, proposed earlier this year, which would completely repeal the law prohibiting local governments in Michigan from enacting rent control ordinances. The preemption of local rent control is one of the most significant legislative accomplishments in AAM’s history.

Senate Bill Would Lower Lead Measure

Legislation introduced earlier this year in the Michigan Senate proposes to amend a section of the Public Health Code regulating lead-based paint hazards in rental housing. Senate Bill 62 would lower the blood lead level standard for minor children from 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of venous blood to 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter. 5 micrograms is consistent with new Centers for Disease Control (CDC) blood lead level references for minor children. This section of state law prescribes penalties for a rental property owner who knowingly rents a unit with a lead-based paint hazard and has not acted in good faith to reduce the hazard.


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