Advocacy Update

Written by Forrest Wall, CAE, Staff Vice President and Industry Relations

AAM Officers Approve Amicus In Special Assessment Case
In May, AAM was informed of a decision by the Michigan Tax Tribunal which involved the Edward Rose & Sons company. The case revolves around a special assessment levied against one of the Edward Rose & Sons apartment communities by the City of Lansing for curb, gutter and storm sewer replacement along a road abutting the property.

Edward Rose & Sons challenged the assessment on the basis that the work did not increase the value of their property and therefore they should not be assessed. The Tax Tribunal found in favor of the City of Lansing using questionable rationale. Edward Rose & Sons made the decision to appeal the ruling and their attorneys believe this could have industrywide impact in setting a precedent for a local government’s ability to levy special assessments.

Edward Rose & Sons requested that AAM file an amicus in support of their position. After a legal review of potential pitfalls involved and an analysis of the importance of this matter for the industry, it was the consensus of the AAM Officers that the Association should file an amicus. If you are interested in reading the Tax Tribunal judgment in the case, please e-mail me at and I will be happy to send you a copy. AAM will keep you apprised of the status of the appeal as it progresses.

AAM Initiates Southfield Apartment Forum
Working in conjunction with city code enforcement staff, AAM organized and held a new forum for apartment owners and managers in the City of Southfield. The forum was held on June 29th at the city offices and provided the opportunity for Mayor Brenda Lawrence and city staff to present a property maintenance checklist, along with the city’s process for working with apartment owners on these issues. Rental property representatives were able to ask questions and provide city officials with feedback on the challenges they currently face.

This forum will be held semi-annually from this point forward, with the next meeting to be scheduled in March 2012. It is hoped this type of meeting can also be replicated in other communities to enhance communication and provide an alternative to unnecessary ordinances regulating multi-family rental property.

Don’t Forget About Lead RRP Regulations
The EPA’s Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) went into effect April 22, 2010. To recap, the rule applies to remodeling work disturbing more than six square feet of interior painted surface or more than twenty square feet of exterior painted surface in multifamily and single family structures built prior to 1978.

It includes a tenant notification process, specific work practices to follow, recordkeeping requirements and certification for those performing the work. Apartment owners performing their own renovations must follow the EPA registration process for their firm and have a Certified Renovator supervising the project.

The other option is to simply contract the work out to firms which are certified. If you have someone who needs their Certified Renovator designation, contact me for available courses.

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