SB 313, Crippling Rental Inspections, Passes Senate Committee

Posted on October 3, 2013 by Dene Westbrook

Yesterday SB 313, legislation that could cripple local rental inspection programs, was passed out of the Senate Local Government and Elections committee around 5:20 pm.  It is now on the senate floor where the sponsor has publicly committed to working on this before asking for a vote. The League along with about 11 communities testified in opposition to the legislation.  We also had a number of communities submit written testimony to the committee members. A substitute was adopted that reinserted language that was stricken from the law in the introduced version saying municipality could inspect recurring offenders on a more frequent basis (thus continuing to allow the frequent inspections of repeat offenders).

The legislation, which affects communities over 10,000, limits both registration fees and inspection fees for rental inspections as well as changes the timeline for inspections to not less than 6 years but no longer than 10 years. The bill would also require an inspector to inform the lessee of their right to refuse an inspection and request and obtain permission from the lessee to inspect. Here is a memo with concerns the League has and which were conveyed by all the members during the hearing yesterday: SB313 Memo SenRobertson_RentalHousing_edits

In a time when we need to be focusing on creating municipalities that attract talented people who want to live, play and stay in our Michigan communities, this is a giant step backwards.  Research shows there are more and more people, spanning multiple generations, who are not looking to own their home.  They want a variety of different housing rental options.  Our local communities across this state are looking, and will continue to look, at housing options to attract people to their communities.  That being said, community leaders need to be able to ensure they have quality, safe, reputable housing options for those residents by having effective rental inspection programs if there is a need for one in the community and at a timeline that fits those needs. General fund dollars are not there to subsidize anymore of the program than they already are (if they are able to at all). Rental registration and inspection fees allow them to recoup some of the cost of providing the service to the community.

I would like to say a big THANK YOU to all of our members who came up to testify and/or submitted written testimony. Hearing directly from the local communities and how this will affect you specifically brings a whole new level of life to the

I would encourage you to contact your senator and let them know the impacts this will have on your rental inspection program if you have one. 

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues.  She can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0305.

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