Michigan’s wave of housing bills is making landlords nervous

As the state legislature returns this week for its fall session, Michigan landlords are nervous because a slew of housing legislation and rent reforms seem to be on the forefront of many majority lawmakers, as well as activist voters.

From the potential repeal of a law banning rent control to bills that limit the requirements landlords can use in selecting tenants, the apprehension felt by those who rent is real, and comes at a time when limited inventories are leading to an outcry about the need for more housing stock across the state.

However, as these calls happen, the data shows that rent increases by landlords have largely stalled, and a raft of new apartments are expected to hit the market in the coming months and years.
In addition, many of the policy proposals on offer are a double-edged sword, with some geared towards making construction easier and thus bringing more supply to the market, while others are geared towards taking steps that might be seen as punitive for landlords. As property managers.

“We’ve never been more stressed,” Matthew Miller, a real estate attorney at the Aaron D. Cox law offices in Southfield, tells Crain’s of the current environment in light of some pending policy proposals.

Miller is also chairman of the Legislative Committee of the Property Management Association of Michigan (PMAM), a statewide condo industry organization.

“As property managers and landlords, our concern is that a lot of the things people are trying to pursue won’t actually help the people lawmakers want to help, or will actually be harmful to them,” Miller said.

The concern comes as housing activists gather at the state Capitol in Lansing to demand a range of reforms, and lawmakers inside the building — led by Democrats for the first time in decades — consider a myriad of potential policy changes.

at recent days “What then However, in her speech, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made few references to housing, and the references she did make were largely related to expanding supply. The Whitmer administration has achieved a goal – Adding or rehabilitating 75,000 housing units across the country during the next five years.

It is not clear what specific bills or policies might come up for a vote or pass in the final months of the year. State Rep. Jason Hoskins, a Democratic lawmaker from Southfield who chairs the House Economic Development and Small Business Committee, through which many housing reform proposals must pass, declined to discuss specific bills or policy proposals.

But in an interview with Crain’s, Hoskins said he aims to work with all parties affected by any legislation.

“I know my process, and I like to have stakeholders on the team as much as possible,” Hoskins said. “I definitely want to make sure we’re involved and trying to make people on all sides comfortable.”

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