Grand Rapids tries to curb predatory landlords

Associated Press

Grand Rapids – Officials in a western Michigan city are considering new rules aimed at protecting renters from predatory landlords.

The Grand Rapids Press reports that the City Commission in Grand Rapids is reviewing a proposed ordinance that would add a $50 fine for landlords and leasing companies if they failed to return application fees to prospective tenants for no justifiable reason.

The measure is part of its “Housing NOW” package that’s designed to help address problems with affordable housing in the city.

A vote could take place in July and specifics likely would change. As written, the proposed ordinance would require rental property owners to tell applicants how applications are judged. Also, application fees only could be as much as the cost of screening an applicant.