Associated Students of Madison Chair David Gardner released a statement Wednesday urging state legislators to vote down a bill he and other ASM members say will hurt communication between landlords and tenants.
Assembly Bill 183, which the legislature’s Assembly Housing and Real Estate Committee will vote on Thursday, would apply standard rules across the state that would give landlords fewer regulations surrounding responsibilities, such as disclosing housing code violations.
The bill would make cities unable to pass certain ordinances, such as any regulations mandating landlords communicate more information to tenants than is required under federal or state law. If the bill is approved, some of Madison’s current ordinances would be eliminated.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville, told the Wisconsin State Journal the bill is a necessary update to housing regulations and would make landlord-tenant relations easier and more fair.
However, Gardner said many of Madison’s current regulations are necessary to facilitate communication between tenants and landlords.
“Clear communication is something that everyone wants in a renting arrangement,” Gardner said. “I think that’s something AB 183 is in clear opposition to and will really damage.”
Gardner also said the bill could affect ASM’s Tenant Bill of Rights campaign, which calls for a set of student-friendly leasing policies campus-area landlords can agree to in return for an endorsement from ASM, possibly beginning in the 2014-’15 school year.
Gardner said he believes the bill could also make students liable for crimes on rental property that were not their fault. AB 183 would eliminate a provision to a law that protects tenants from being evicted for unpreventable crimes that occur on the property.
In the statement, Gardner asked the state assembly and senate members to consider the effects the bill would have on renters.
“[AB 183] will hurt many students, not only on our campus but across the state,” Gardner said.