Apartment Inspection Reform Bill Signed By Governor
As a follow-up to my column last month, Governor Snyder has signed the apartment inspection law reform bill passed by the Michigan Legislature. This new law, Public Act 169 of 2017, 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, and lawsuits relating to warrantless searches in other parts of the country support this position. In addition to providing for tenant permission for inspection, the new law lays out the resident notification/inspection scheduling process, specifies certain exceptions (complaints, vacancy, etc.) to the permission requirement, and states the landlord’s duty to allow inspection of common areas. The new law takes effect February 19, 2018.
AAM is holding the following educational sessions to explain the new law, and provide owners with additional resources to be ready for this change. The sessions are free to members and are scheduled for Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at 10:00 am and Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 10:00 am. These sessions will take place at AAM’s new office, located at 30400 Telegraph Road in Bingham Farms, in the first floor conference room. Register at www.apartments.org.
Voter Registration Legislation Introduced
Legislation has been introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives requiring landlords to provide new tenants with a voter registration application and instructions. House Bill 5266 would amend Michigan’s Landlord and Tenant Relationships Act with a mandatory process for landlords to follow. The bill directs the Secretary of State to post all of this information on its website for landlords to access. The legislation does not apply to sublessees unless the sublessee takes possession of the unit with the landlord’s knowledge. The bill also prescribes a civil infraction and potential fine up to $1,000 for violation of the act.