Advocacy Update

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

First Apartment Inspection Reform Bill Heads to Governor

I am pleased to report to you that the Michigan House of Representatives, in a 73-34 vote at the end of January, approved Senate Bill 394. The legislation now awaits approval by Governor Snyder given the Senate’s previous passage of the bill. As you may recall from my previous communications, SB 394 is the first in a set of bills to reform the law covering municipal inspections of rental property. Introduced in June by Senator David Robertson (R-26th District), SB 394 amends the Housing Law of Michigan to include townships under the law so they are governed in the same way as cities and villages, as well as mandate that inspection fees shall not be required more than six months in advance of the inspection. Additionally, the legislation removes the language mandating that a municipality inspect multifamily rental property, and replaces it with language stating that inspection is at the local government’s option, except in cases where there is a tenant complaint. The second bill in the series will address the resident right of permission for local government entry to inspect, with an expected introduction this spring.

New Legislation Proposes To Make Certain Evictions More Difficult

Recently introduced legislation in the Michigan House of Representatives would make it more difficult to evict in cases involving controlled substances or threats of physical injury. Under current summary proceedings law, a landlord is entitled to recover possession of premises in cases of controlled substances when a formal police report is filed alleging that the person has unlawfully manufactured, delivered, possessed with intent to deliver, or possessed a controlled substance. House Bill 5217 would change that standard from a formal police report to an actual conviction. Further, current law states that you can recover possession in instances where the tenant or member of the tenant’s household has caused or threatened physical injury to another individual, and the police department has been notified. This legislation would change that standard of simple notification of the police to an actual conviction of a crime.



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