Advocacy Update

Forrest Wall March 2021Written By HBA And AAM CEO, Forrest M. Wall, CAE

Source of Income Bills Move In Senate

Three bills which propose to add “source of income” protections in state law have been approved by the Senate Housing and Human Services Committee for consideration by the full Senate. Senate Bills 205 and 206 would amend the Landlord and Tenant Relationships Act to forbid a rental property owner from doing any of the following as it relates to source of income:

  • Deny or terminate a tenancy
  • Make any distinctions or restrictions in rental price, terms, conditions, fees, or privileges relating to the rental unit
  • Attempt to discourage the lease of any rental unit
  • Assist, induce, or coerce another person to engage in a practice violating the proposed amendment
  • Coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with rights granted under the act
  • Represent to a prospective or current resident that a unit is not available for inspection or rental when in fact it is available
  • Otherwise make unavailable or deny a unit based on source of income

The bills mandate that a landlord shall not publish or display any notice or ad indicating a preference or requirement based on source of income, and, that a person who “suffers a loss” as a result of violation of the law may bring a court action to recover actual damages or up to 4.5 times the monthly rent of the unit, whichever is greater, along with court costs and attorney fees.

The third bill, Senate Bill 207 would amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to add source of income protection to both the title and section 502 (relating to real estate transactions) of the act.

AAM is opposing the bills as introduced but is working in coalition with several real estate trade associations on potential amendments to the legislation.

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