One area township is piecing together the pieces for a new housing rental ordinance.The Milford Township Board of Trustees discussed the language for the ordinance that will define the fees and regulations for rental properties. Supervisor Don Green said he started working on this about 6 months ago when another board member brought some disturbing news to his attention. He said that some time ago, one of the trustees came in and showed him pictures of electrical outlets hanging out of the walls of rental properties. Add in tenants complaining about broken furnaces, water heaters, and leaky roofs that are going unfixed, and Green believes something needs to be done.

Green said he estimates that roughly 10% of Milford Township residents are renters. Township attorney Jennifer Elowski said she was working with bringing over language from the Village of Milford’s ordinance with modifications. The working proposal offers a clearer definition of “building official” and implements measures to trigger regular inspections on rental properties, and suggests a fee schedule. The fee schedule used as an example was one out of Muskegon that is enforced by a company Milford Township is considering for running their operation. Under that plan, fees would range between $75 to $105 plus extras, depending on the size of the property.

It is also being discussed that when the ordinance is approved, existing residential rentals will have 6 months to register. The township recognizes this will require an aggressive notification campaign to make certain property owners become compliant. No official action was taken during Wednesday’s meeting. (MK)