The Ann Arbor City Council is slated to vote tonight on a revision to the city’s lease-signing ordinance that would reduce the period of time that landlords must wait to show occupied properties to prospective tenants from 90 to 70 days into a lease’s start date.
Some landlords have offered students incentives – like money or free apartment cleanings – to sign waivers, which allow the landlords to show properties earlier than the lease ordinance permits.
Landlords have criticized the ordinance, saying the required waiting period complicates the rental process and increases pressure on students because it pushes them to ask about available housing before the deadline.
Complaints from both sides prompted a proposal to shorten the period landlords must wait and to eliminate the waiver loophole to strike a compromise.
“I’m hoping for the best,” MSA president Mohammad Dar said. “We worked with a landlord and came up with a good middle ground between students and landlords.”
City Councilman Stephen Kunselman (D-Ward 3) said that while he was initially skeptical of the proposal’s potential impact on the city, he now favors the lease-signing law changes.
“We’ve had it under our belts to see how it’s been working,” he said.
Kunselman said his main concern with the proposal was the impact it could have on the non-student population. At this point, though, he hasn’t seen any consequences in the greater Ann Arbor housing market.
Both Dar and Kunselman said they were optimistic about the proposal getting passed.
“As far as I can tell there has not been any opposition,” Kunselman said.