Advocacy Update

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

Apartment Inspection Reform Bill Passes Senate

AAM’s efforts to reform the current apartment inspection law took a significant step forward with the Michigan Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 107. As you may recall, this legislation amends the Housing Law of Michigan to provide that the lessee’s permission is needed prior to local government entry to inspect. Current state law allows a local government to compel an apartment owner, regardless of the resident’s wishes, to provide unit access if the lease allows the owner right of entry at any time. AAM has stated its concern that this is a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The bill passed unanimously on a 37-0 vote on the final day of Senate session prior to summer recess. We appreciate the leadership of the bill’s sponsor, Senator Rick Jones (R–Grand Ledge). This legislation will now move to the House of Representatives, starting with a hearing before the House Local Government Committee which is expected early this fall.

Amendments Proposed to Detroit’s Rental Property Ordinance

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and City Council Member Andre Spivey recently announced a set of proposed amendments to the city’s rental ordinance. The proposed changes include:

  • The ability for the city to withhold certificates of compliance for landlords who are more than six months delinquent on their property taxes and owe more than $1000.
  • Provide landlords with an expedited process for appealing the denial or suspension of a certificate of compliance.
  • Less frequent inspections for landlords who, for at least one year, have remained current on their taxes and received no blight violations. Certifications would extend from one year to two years for multi-family properties and to three years for one- and two-family properties.
  • Continue annual lead hazard inspections (except for those properties where long-term or permanent abatement measures were made) even if there are less frequent property inspections.

Additionally, the city is stepping up efforts to register all rental properties in a two year timeframe, with the Buildings, Safety, Engineering & Environmental Department (BSEED) breaking the city into five zones to phase in the process. Finally, the city will post compliance data for each rental property on an interactive map on the city’s website.


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