The Michigan Daily-Friday, May 26, 1978-Page 3
on tenant bill
By R.J. SMITH
The State House of Representatives
overwhelmingly passed a truth in ren-
ting bill earlier this week which is
similar to an ordinance approved by
voters in Ann Arbor last April.
Although it must still meet Senate ap-
proval, the bill has already elicited a
great deal of response from tenant ad-
vocates and landlords.
"Sure it's a big step, but it's not suf-
ficient," said Susan Van Hattum,
Tenant Union (TU) member. "Nothing
would be sufficient."
THE HOUSE BILL was sponsored by
Flint Democrat Mark Clodfelter, who
said the bill's early form was the basis
for Ann Arbor's Truth in Renting or-
Going, going, gone AP Photo
Wigged auctioneer H. Groot, who also serves as Majordomo for the Wine Com-
panies of Heublein, auctions off a precious bottle of 1864 Chateau Lafite for
$18.000 during an Atlanta auction.
FREE BULB SERVICE ENDS TODAY:
Detroit Ed defies board's order
Theordinance and the bill stem, in
part, from a Public Interest Group in
Michigan (PIRGIM) study released
last November which revealed that the
vast majority of Michigan leases con-
tain illegal clauses.
Clodfelter has spent the last six mon-
ths drafting the bill and presiding over
arguing groups of tenants and landlor-
"THE BILL IS a very careful one,"
said Clodfelter, "and it is a very
delicate one. Sometimes we spent
weeks on a word or two."
Despite concessions on both sides, the
bill is still being contested by several
groups. Ellen Moore, president of the
Michigan Property Owners Association
said, "We still are not in favor of some
of the terms .., our strongest feeling, of
course, is that thereralsoeshould be a
clause that if a tenant breaks a law he
has to pay too."
University Legal Aid Attorney
Jonathan rose expressed disenchan-
tment with the bill's final version,
calling it only a "start at recognizaing
the fraud of landlord-tenant relations."
ROSE, WHO worked on the bill in its
early stages, said he is not entirely
familiar with the final product. "I
helped work on it, but not in its formal
form," he said. "It's a lot weaker than
the one we have here (in Ann Arbor)."
Rose cited numerous concessions
made by tenants as the bill's prime
weakness. The concessions include the
removal of a clause which would have
outlawed cleaning fees (fees charged
by landlords for cleaning after a tenant
moves out) and the addition of a clause
which gives landlords 20 days to change
a part of their lease which is illegal. The
bill lists clauses which are both illegal
and commonly found in leases.
The reason for the 20 day period for al
landlord to change illegal clauses, Clod-
felter said, is to give landlords facing
punishment a chance to change the of-
fending clause. "It's to protect the lan-
dlord who innocently used illegal
See PROPOSED, Page 5
DETROIT (UPI)-Detroit Edison's
legal counsel said yesterday it would
make no sense for the utility to return to
federal court to prevent today's
scheduled end of its 92-year-old light
bulb exchange program.
The utility has said it will defy a state
Public Service Commission directive
that it continue the program, which is to
be halted as part of an out-of-court set-
tlement of a federal anti-trust suit.
LEON COHAN, Edison vice president
and general counsel, conceded the
company could ask U.S. District Judge
John Feikens to reconsider his ap-
proval of the settlement and his sub-
sequent order that the bulb program
end May 26.
However, Cohan said, doing so "just
wouldn't make any sense at all," since
it could leave Edison wide open for
massive damages in the anti-trust suit.
"The risk still is there," Cohan said.
"We still have the exposure and our
customers still have the exposure of
many millions of dollars in possible an-
CUSTOMERS JAMMED Edison of-
fices yesterday to take advantage of the
The Ann Arbor office of Detroit
Edison reports that while during the
week of April 24 it averaged 162 ex-
changes per day, that rate went up to
500-600 last week. Wednesday, a record
12,180 bulbs were exchanged.
program, under which new bulbs are
given out in exchange for burned-out
At some offices, people lined up
"down the street and around the cor-
ner," said Edison spokesman Fred
"Exchanges of bulbs have been run-
ning three times normal," Sullivan
said. "In the last few weeks we've been
exchanging 1 million bulbs a week. We
normally exchange 16 million to 15
million a year."
THE EXCHANGE policy was
challenged in federal court by
drugstore owner Lawrence Cantor, who
said it violated anti-trust laws. The
utility fought to retain the program, but
gave in when faced with the cost of a
lengthy court battle.
"Obviously we would like nothing
better than to continue the light bulb
exchange program," Cohan said. "We
feel it is good for the customers and
good public relations."
Edison had applied to the PSC for
permission to drop the program sim-
ply asa formality, since the agency sets
rates for all utilities in Michigan.
Congressional confirmation has not yet accrued,
but all the signs point to the switchover. Dwight
David Eisenhower, military hero, 34th president,
farmboy of Abilene, Kansas, will at last be laid to
'rest when the U.S. mint replaces his stolid image on
the silver dollar with that of the lissome Miss Liber-
ty. She was last seen on the coins of the forties,
during which time she missed Betty Friedan,
Watergate, the cold war ... we could go on and on.
It seemsthat she'll have some catching up to do
when she returns. And when that time comes, in
deference to the new attitudes, maybe she'll have to.
be called Ms. Liberty. Anyway, welcome back.
And a happy new year
A Duluth oil company has its own little jab at the
postal service. This week it mailed out Christmas
cards to a number of its customers, in order to beat
the rate increase which begins Monday. The
message on the envelope asks, "Who's the nut sen-
ding Xmas cards this time of year?" The cards
themselves are bordered in red and green with
holly, and message isT "Because the days of the 13-
cent stamp are fleeting we are sending you now our
Christmas greeting." And there is a sketch of Ben
Franklin, first U.S. postmaster, with his quotation
"a penny saved is a penny earned". Harold Bach,
executive vice-president of the company, says, "We
have been trying to develop creative promotions.
This one seems novel enough." Indeed.
Most people wear glasses to walk around in-
cognito, with celebrities most noted for sporting
gigantic shades. However, as always, Amy Carter
has to be different. Amy, who cuts a familiar figure
in her large-rimmed eyeglasses, will be able to
roam around Washington less recognizable, thanks
to her soon-to-be-acquired contact lenses. Well,
maybe Uncle Billy will try to start a new line of
"Carter Contacts for Children."
... today begin with the presentation of the Clio
awards for the year's best advertising, at 1035
Angell Hall, bright and early-9 a.m. Then, a couple
of events begin at 2 p.m.-the first, a tour of Green-
field Village leaves the International Center. Ad-
mission is $2,,assuming at least 10 people go along
... and the second, a song recital by Jacquelyn
Page Green and Randy Lambert in the Pendleton
Center of the Michigan Union, 2nd floor.. . And,
finishing up, there will be a lecture at the First
Unitarian Church at 1917 Washtenaw at 8 p.m. The
speaker is the Right Rev. Joseph Brown; his sub-
ject: "Conscious Christianity". And that's all we
In yesterday's Daily we reported that the ap-
proved city budget allocates $50,000 more for repair
of roads than would a budget proposed by city Ad-
ministrator Sylvester Murray. The correct figure is
On the outside ...
Today's weather calls for lots of sun and lots, so to
speak, of Fahrenheit. The mercury will ascend
smoothly to the 85' mark and remain there for a
while, and the air will be humid. Meanwhile, there
will be not nearly so much Celsius. But there never