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Ypsi Tenant Law Scores Mixed Victory

Ypsi Tenant Law Scores Mixed Victory image
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Ypsilanti landlords now face the slamjner lor exercising the usual strongarm tactics against tenants. The Human Rights Party's Tenant Rights ordinance cleared the city Qouncil February 3,.but not before Democrats and Republicans added criminal penalties for malfacting tenants. Besides civil penalties under the housing code, tenants are now subject to up to 90 days in jail or a S500 fine for failing to use refuse areas, encouraging cockroaches or defacing the property. Landlords can be hit with the same penalty for evicting without a court order, changing locks or illegally refusing to return the damage deposit. With Democrat Larry Lobert. the two HRP eouncilmembers voted against the revisiĆ³n, citing several vaguely worded sections which forbid tenants from such things as "retaliating" against landlords for exercising their legal rights. Because of legal complications, said HRP councilman Eric Jackson, the party is dropping plans to put its original tenant proposal on the April ballot. Signatures for three other referendums were turned in, however, including a Human Rights Ordinance designed to improve on the Ann Arbor model; a non-returnable bottle proposal and a campaign spending and disclosure law. The anti-discrimination law includes regional origin, for Ypsilantfs migrant Southern mountain population as well as sexual preference, student and marital status. To avoid being struck down like the Ann Arbor law. the bottle ordinance will not cover alcoholic beverages, which the Michigan Su-' preme Court ruled is the exclusive province of the Liquor Control Commission.