Priorities Identified by AAM Officers
The primary focus of the AAM Officers Meeting in January was identification of AAM’s key advocacy priorities for the 2011-12 State Legislative Session. The following priorities were developed:
1) Apartment Inspection Reform – As most owners know, rental inspection ordinances are on the rise. While the Housing Law of Michigan provides some protections from overly burdensome local ordinances, there continue to be significant issues including: high inspection and registration fees, the interval between inspections, no penalties to municipalities who do not comply with the law, and 100 percent inspection versus sampling. The AAM Officers have established a subcommittee chaired by Allen Amber of Amber Properties to draft legislative reforms, as well as consider local legal action.
2) Michigan Business Tax (MBT) Reform – Obviously, this is a key priority for many business organizations, including AAM. It was the consensus of the AAM Officers that elimination of the surcharge and gross receipts portions of the tax are necessary to rectify the multiple problems that plague rental property owners via the MBT. This issue is at the top of the Governor and Legislature’s priority list for the first half of 2011, so members should watch for “Calls to Action” from AAM.
3) Tax Tribunal Speed – AAM will research what can be done to accelerate Tax Tribunal actions.
4) Baliff Fees – Members are reporting that excessive fees are being charged for these services. AAM will research the need for court rules and/or legislative action to propose fee limitations or the allowance for landlords to use private companies to introduce competition.
Notary Requirement Change
Special thanks to member Matthew Paletz of Paletz Law Firm, who was instrumental in efforts to successfully remove the notary requirement from the Demands for Possession and other Termination of Tenancy Notices. This change will provide a considerable savings to property owners and managers in terms of time and costs involved. The revised forms can be accessed via the State Court Administrative Office website at http://www.courts.michigan.gov/scao/courtforms/landlord-tenantlandcontract/ltlindex.htm. ■