Advocacy Update


Anti-Rental Housing Proposals Released
Rep. Emily Dievendorf (D-77th District) has released an outline for a future set of bills referred to as a “Renter’s Bill of Rights.” In the outline it is stated that this package “seeks to rebalance the power between landlords and tenants, guarantee the safety of housing, codify the right of tenants to advocate for themselves, and to establish fairness in building equity.” Some of the proposals to be included in the package include:
Rent Control
  > Removes ban on local restrictions on rent control policies
• Fee Limitations
  > Restricts application fees and/or the percentage of rent that a landlord can charge for a  rental deposit
• Relocation Assistance
  > Landlord must pay amount toward moving costs for tenants displaced by housing rehabilitation, demolition, or other       breaks in the lease
• Fair Chance (already introduced as HB 4878)
  > Restricts use of criminal record in applicant screening
• First Come, First Served
  > Requires landlords to accept the first application that meets their rental requirements
• Renter Agency for Repairs
  > Allows tenants to take care of repairs themselves and charge landlord
• Right to Organize
  > Prevents landlords from interfering if renters decide to form a union
• Just-Cause Eviction
  > Limits when and how landlords can remove tenants by forcing them to prove that the situation meets a certain standard to justify eviction
• Adequate Notice for Rent Changes
  > Requires certain amount of warning for raising rent
• Right of First Refusal
  > When a landlord puts a building up for sale, this gives tenants the power to band together and put up money to purchase the building
• Right-To-Counsel
  > Guarantees all renters have publicly subsidized legal representation
• Eviction Expungement
  > Creates expungement of eviction history if tenant has caught up on back-end rent
• Credit History
  > Eliminates credit history as means of considering a tenant’s ability to afford a rental residence
• Landlord Licensing
  > Requires landlords to be licensed and complete continuing education


AAM-PAC Support Critically Important

We need your help to maintain our strong voice for the multifamily rental property industry. The Apartment Association of Michigan Political Action Committee (AAM-PAC) accepts contributions from members and aggregates them into one fund, which then financially supports those elected officials who understand the important role of rental housing in Michigan’s economy. You must be an AAM or HBA Member to contribute to the fund, which has a fundraising goal of $150,000 for 2023. Remember, an AAM-PAC contribution must be made via personal, partnership, LLP, or LLC check or credit card.
Posted in 2023, SEPTEMBER 2023 | Comments Off on Advocacy Update

Welcome AAM’s President: Andrew Kuhn, Sunrise Communities

Andrew Kuhn is the Founder and CEO of Sunrise Communities, a privately held multi-family real estate investment and management company. Since moving to Michigan to start his first real estate investment company in 2006, Andrew has acquired over 1,100 units to date, including 150+ houses and 1,000+ apartment units. His experience spans a range of projects, from stick-built and modular ground-up construction to traditional and historic renovations.

Andrew is active in the community serving on non-profit boards including President of the Detroit Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Co-Chairman of the EO XCentric Regional Conference and is a Young Leader with the Detroit Economic Club. He is also a member of the Detroit Developer Roundtable, Urban Land Institute (ULI) and Front Row Dads.

Andrew is a devoted family man, married to his wife Nicole for 11 years and a proud dad of two daughters. Ava (6) is a first grader at Cranbrook Brookside and Zoe who just turned 3. With what little time left, Andrew enjoys downhill skiing with his family, mountain biking, traveling and working on his green thumb.

Posted in 2023, August 2023 | Comments Off on Welcome AAM’s President: Andrew Kuhn, Sunrise Communities

Fall Protection: Know The Laws


Whether you went rock climbing once as a kid at the local rec center, or work in elevated heights every day, you are aware that fall protection is required to ensure safety. Falls are the leading cause of death in construction industry, according to OSHA. It does not require excessive heights to cause severe injury or even death. In fact, many deaths occur from falls from less than five feet. Protecting employees with fall protection is as simple as ABC.

A – Anchor points: These are the exclusive secured points of attachment for equipment to be tied off to. Anchor points must be capable of sustaining 5,000 lbs., or at least a safety factor of two when installed in accordance with OSHA’s requirements, per person.

B – Body Harness: is a form of secured straps that fit over the user’s body to distribute force over the whole body rather than a single source (such as a belt).

C – Connecting Devices: any rated strap that is designed specifically for and used for connecting the body harness to the anchor point. Some connecting devices may have built-in shock absorbing or decelerating devices.

The ABCs of fall protection must be utilized whenever there is a risk for falling, that is whenever someone is working near a leading edge, on top of, next to, or near anything that is not properly guarded without a fall net present, in order to be in compliance with OSHA. Both OSHA and MIOSHA utilize 29 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 1910 and 1926 regulations for basic fall protection requirements. When it comes down to needing fall protection, you must remember zero-four-six-ten-fifteen (0, 4, 6, 10, 15).

ZERO – If there is any dangerous equipment or significant hazard immediately below (0 feet) where there is potential for employees to fall on or into, then that employee must have a form of fall prevention that does not allow that employee to be exposed to the contact of that hazard. (Ref. 1910.28(b)(6)(i))

FOUR – For all general industry-related activities, if employees are working on a surface four feet or higher off the ground with unprotected edges, they must have fall protection. General industry-related activities may include but are not limited to the following: changing out lights inside or in parking lots, working on HVAC units on roofs, nearly any kind of maintenance, and anything that does not involve maritime, construction or agriculture. (Ref. 1910.28(b)(1)(i))

SIX – For all construction-related activities, if employees are working six feet or higher off the ground with unprotected edges, they must have fall protection. Construction-related activities may include but are not limited to the following: painting, remodeling, installing, or any other related duties that involve constructing something. (Ref. 1926.501(b)(1)).

TEN – For those working from scaffolds, fall protection must be worn when working 10 feet or greater, whenever there is no means of adequate protection from falls. (Ref. MIOSHA R 408.41213(3) and 1926.451(g)(1))

FIFTEEN – For all leading edges that are not guarded, fall protection does not need to be worn if employees are at least 15 feet away from the edge of a roof. The 15 feet away from an edge rule must be implemented and enforced. (Ref. 1910.28(b)(13)(iii)(B)). For low slope roofs, workers who are within 6 to 15 feet from the edge, more specific rules take place (Ref. 1910.28(b)(13)(ii)). For workers who are within 6 feet of the edge, then the duty to have fall protection comes into play for that industry.

Exceptions: there are several exceptions for unique operations, such as certain aerial lifts used in certain ways, using ladders (which have a wide range of rules on fall protection), certain pitches in roofs for construction-related work, initial ascend to install fall protection equipment, or very specific situations where fall protection creates a greater hazard. While this can be used as reference, it is always best to read through all applicable OSHA regulations to ensure you are not only working safely but also within full compliance!

Posted in 2023, August 2023 | Comments Off on Fall Protection: Know The Laws

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.

Posted in 2023, August 2023 | Comments Off on Advocacy Update

Ladder Safety


Ladders are a common item found in nearly every home, store, and place of occupation. Non-coincidentally they are also involved in 20% of fatal falls across the United States, both at home and work. This number jumps up to 81% of fatalities for occupations with heavy ladder use. If you, your staff, or contractors use ladders on your properties, jobsites, or remote, you must ensure safe ladder use.

A useful piece of equipment that can make quick work of an elevated task, can quickly increase the potential for injury with every step taken. Ladders should never be used by untrained staff; instructions should always be given. The steps required for users to learn ladder safety can be summed up with what ladders are available, which type is best for which tasks, the proper way to ascend and descend ladders, how to work from ladders safely, proper set and take down of ladders, overhead hazard awareness, and general safety for all ladders and stepstools.

Choosing the best ladder doesn’t need to be hard, but it absolutely requires more thought than just picking out the cheapest or tallest option. There is an obvious reason why there are several types of ladders: no one ladder can do all tasks safely. When picking out a ladder, or ladders, ensure you have a complete understanding of every task needed. Requirements for picking out a ladder should determine the maximum and minimum working height, indoor or outdoor use, any potential for contact with power lines or overhead hazards, whether work is done from the ladder or if the ladder is only needed to gain access to taller areas, how the ladder is stored and moved, and any specifics about your work areas that may be unique, such as the need to change lights directly above stairwells. Multipurpose ladders are a great go-to for most homeowners as they can offer multiple configurations for most uses. However, the bulkiness of them, weight, and extra moving parts create concerns for everyday occupational use.

All ladders used in work settings must be rated. Ratings are as follows: Light Duty (III) – 200 pounds, Medium Duty (II) – 225 pounds, Heavy Duty (I) – 250 pounds, Extra Duty (IA) – 300 pounds, and Special Duty (IAA) – 375 pounds. It is not advised to use wooden ladders in the workplace, as wood can conceal hidden damage and is more prone to weathering. Picking between aluminum and fiberglass ladders should be determined on electrical hazard potential, fiberglass being safer to use near powerlines and electricity due to its nonconductivity.

Stepstools are common office equipment that are often overlooked. Almost every office environment has use for a stepstool. If your office does not have one available, there is a good chance your employees are using a chair, desk, or table to get to higher elevations. Whether setting up for an office party, decorating for the holidays, or changing out the batteries in a beeping smoke detector, office staff should have access to safe stepstools. If the step stool is above 24 inches, then it should have a handrail. Steps on stepstools shall not be less than 8 inches apart or more than 12 inches apart.

All ladders and stepstools must be inspected before use. While it is wise to document the process, it can often be hard to keep track of inspections if they are used by multiple people daily. In addition to pre-use inspections, it is recommended that a monthly or quarterly (depending on use) inspection is performed and documented on all ladders. Inspections may consist of verifying footing in attached properly and in good condition, all fasteners are properly affixed and tightened, side rails are undamaged and straight, steps and rungs are undamaged are free from burs or sharp edges, all warning and instruction stickers are legible and clean, and in general the ladder is free from any dirt, oil, grease, or anything that may hinder the safe use of it, including UV or weather damage. If a ladder is found to contain any recognized hazard it should be either tagged or removed from service immediately. While it may be tempting to repair broken or damaged ladders due to the cost of a new one, proper disposal of these ladders avoids injuries, that are substantially more expensive. Ladders deemed unsafe should be disposed of and destroyed so that no other individual may use it. If a ladder can be repaired, ensure there is a competent person who is qualified to make the repairs.

Ladders do not have to be hazardous and are excellent tools to have around. However, misuse of ladders proves to be fatal, even from a ladder in good condition. Ensure you inspect, maintain, train staff, and keep up on safe ladder use, so ladders don’t bring your safety down.

Posted in 2023, JULY 2023 | Comments Off on Ladder Safety