Ann Arbor Area Community News
City Council will hear the first reading of Mayor Hiefte’s much-awaited and frequently debated lease signing ordinance. Council meets on Tuesday this week due to Presidents’ Day being Monday.
An idea first floated nearly a year ago, the ordinance would impose restrictions on the ability of landlords to show an apartment within the first quarter or lease an apartment or house out from under a tenant within the first third of a lease’s term. This proposed measure comes in response to student sentiment that landlords create the fall housing rush by pressuring students. Area landlords have opposed the measure, calling it an unjustified intervention into the housing market.
Hieftje’s ordinance is based on a similar measure in Madison, Wisconsin, though the Madison ordinance prohibits both showing and signing during the first quarter of a lease term only. Students have come out almost universally for the ordinance, while landlords have criticized it on several occasions.
After the first reading, a second reading and public hearing will take place in two weeks, whereupon the Council may then vote on the ordinance. Several Councilmembers have voiced their support for the measure already, but the issue is by no means settled.
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