Advocacy Update

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWritten by Forrest Wall, CAE, Staff Vice President, and Industry Relations

Voter Registration Legislation Introduced

Legislation requiring landlords to provide voter registration information to new tenants has been introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives. House Bill 4815, which amends Michigan’s Landlord and Tenant Relationships Act, proposes a mandatory process for landlords to follow with the new tenant by providing information on how to register to vote, eligibility requirements to register, a voter registration application, and notice of election information on the Michigan Secretary of State’s website. The bill directs the Secretary of State to post all of this information on its website for landlords to access and easily print, and includes a tax deduction for printing expenses. 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.

Lead Legislation Would Expand Inspection Law

Proposed amendments to the Housing Law of Michigan and Public Health Code would incorporate lead-based paint provisions in rental property inspection law. The legislation, House Bills 4062 and 4063, would add lead-based paint inspection for pre-1978 rental properties to the provisions for building code inspection under the Housing Law, unless a previous inspection showed there was no lead-paint hazard. The proposal includes a provision allowing the local government to charge for the added inspection. Furthermore, a lead-paint violation could trigger existing clauses in the law allowing the local government to order the property to be vacated and/or to have rents paid into an escrow account until the property is abated. The proposed amendments to the Public Health Code include a provision to make landlords and managers in violation of the act to be liable for damages, costs and attorney fees (in addition to the existing misdemeanor provisions).


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