Renters Commission Update: Right To Renew (August 13, 2022)

Aug 13, 2022 | City Council

This was part of my August 13, 2022 newsletter

Renters Commission Update: Right To Renew

Agenda item DC-4 is a resolution from the Renters Commission with a draft ordinance attached for Right to Renew. The Renters Commission anticipated that the ordinance could appear on this week’s agenda as “first reading”; it appears on this agenda as a resolution because the City’s legal department has requested additional time to provide a legal memo about the ordinance.

Five months ago (March 2022), the City’s legal department was sent a draft of the Right to Renew ordinance and asked to review it. This week – in advance of a special meeting of the Renters Commission meeting – two attorneys from the Commission met with City attorneys to discuss any potential problems with the ordinance. At a special meeting this Wednesday night, the Renters Commission unanimously approved the Right to Renew ordinance. The City Attorney’s office has asked that Council consideration of this ordinance be delayed— I am told that City Council will receive a legal memo no later than August 26.

I have asked that DC-4 remain on the agenda so that I can briefly introduce it and describe these circumstances. I expect the ordinance to appear on a future agenda (“first reading”) in September.

To learn more about local efforts to implement a Right to Renew for tenants, see a blog post that I shared four months ago:


DC-4 (22-1383) Resolution to Recommend Discussion of Right to Renew to City Council

This resolution from the Renters Commission urges City Council to adopt an ordinance creating a Right to Renew for renters in Ann Arbor. A draft ordinance (attached to the resolution) grants tenants a Right to Renew a lease, subject to specific exceptions (“just cause” for eviction). Landlords would adhere to a timeline for communicating terms of renewal (or explanation of non-renewal) consistent with the Early Leasing Ordinance: tenants will receive a good faith offer to renew (or notice of non-renewal with explanation) no later than 180 days before the end of the current lease period. A tenant will have thirty days (up to 150 days before the end of the current lease) to accept/reject terms of renewal. A landlord’s failure to comply will result in payment of relocation assistance to the tenant.