Elizabeth Nelson's City Council Blog

I write a City Council newsletter with my summary of agenda items coming before City Council. Sign up to receive it first via email, or read it here later on this blog.

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

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.