Home > business, Real Estate > New Michigan Bill: Investment Property Owners Should Keep Track of this “Bed Bug Bill”

New Michigan Bill: Investment Property Owners Should Keep Track of this “Bed Bug Bill”

Last Thursday a class action case against a Real Estate Owner reached a settlement involving payment of over $2 Million to 100 tenants – ABAJournal reports that story here

One of the primary complaints was that “the 26-unit building had a massive cockroach infestation.

Infestations are an issue for every property manager or owner of residential investment real estate.

A few weeks back Michigan House Bill 4520 was introduced – check out the text here – it would amend Michigan statute governing landlord tenant relationships to include addressing the control of certain pests – including bed bugs.

What the Bill seeks to do:

Impose certain duties on landlords regarding bed bugs:

1. Mandates specifically that the Landlord is to keep the rental space free from bed bugs.

2. Prohibits Landlords from renting out space that the landlord knows is infested with bedbugs

3. Provides specific requirements for a landlord to respond to a complaint of bed bugs:

  • within 7 days of receiving a complaint, Landlord shall order an inspection for bed bugs;
  • within 7 days of confirming infestation, Landlord shall remedy it.

4. Limits damages against Landlord for infestations, not Tenant caused, only if “Gross Negligence”

Impose certain duties on tenants regarding bed bugs:

1. Tenant shall inspect for bed bugs when first occupying the space;

2. Tenant shall not move “infested property” into a rental unit

3. Tenant shall notify Landlord within 2 days of notice of infestation.

4. Tenant responsible for damages due to bed bugs caused by Tenant, or guest.

The Bill would also allow the parties to allocate expenses for inspection and treatment in their rental agreement. If passed into law, this provision will likely lead to Landlords/Property Owners updating their standard rental agreements.

My thoughts:

What happens when the Tenant is the one who brought the bed bugs – causing damage to Landlord’s property?

What happens when Landlord is responsible?

Who pays the costs to remedy?

The presence of bed bugs is a problem. It seems like the Bill is attempting to balance the bed bug problems that is all too routine facing landlords and tenants, particularly in urban housing.

Next step:

The bill was referred to the judiciary committee. It will be interesting to see what outside interest groups weigh in on this bill, and what amendments come out of this.

Questions? Comments?

email: Jeshua@dwlawpc.com

http://www.dwlawpc.com

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  1. Nicholas Hogue
    May 17, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Interesting. Do you think that there are some potential middle ground between protecting both Landlord and Tenant?

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