The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 19, 2005 - 7A
HO USING Orlando Sim6n, a lawyer for Student
Continued from page 1A "If I was going to rent an apart-
the state of the furnace, making sure ment, before I signed on the dotted
tenants occupy only the legal spaces line, I'd go down with the address
- meaning they are not living in rooms ... and ask to see what the landlords
not authorized for habitation - smoke have done and if they've ever had
detectors and fire extinguishers, said any issues, and if they did, how they
City Councilwoman Jean Carlberg (D- took care of them," Sim6n said.
3rd Ward). Carlberg said this step is often
"The main concern is health and overlooked by students who are
safety being protected for the resi- more excited with moving into an
dents," Carlberg said. off-campus house than making sure
Even though landlords in viola- it meets city inspection require-
tion of the city codes can be denied ments.
the certificate of occupancy needed In instances where the certificate
to lease a house, landlords have is denied, landlords can appeal if the
been known to lease to student ten- house was built in accordance with
ants without meeting the certificate city guidelines at the time of its con-
requirements, putting the tenant at struction. Examples of this include
risk, Carlberg said. low ceilings or steep stairs that pre-
In order for students to protect viously were allowed and are very
themselves from leasing a house that difficult to change without further
does not meet city codes, students disruption of the house. If this is
can check the City Housing Bureau the case, the landlord must prove he
and request maintenance files kept can make the house safe and solve
on the particular houses - which the problem even though it may not
are available to the public, said meet current standards. If the Hous-
the michigan daily
ing Board of Appeals approves, the
landlord may be awarded the cer-
tificate, said Carlberg, who is on the
Less prominent are mold problems.
Although Doug Lewis, director of Stu-
dent Legal Services, can recall one
instance in which a mold problem grew
out of control to the point that it cov-
ered an entire wall, he said there are
not many cases involving mold in off-
"I think it is fair to say most peo-
ple don't know a lot about mold,"
Sim6n said. "We don't see a lot of
mold cases. We probably have seen
four cases in the last calendar year
where people have come in and said,
'I think I have a mold issue.' "
Simon is currently helping SLS
to prepare for future mold-related
cases in need of litigation.
According to the Centers for Dis-
ease Control, possible health effects
of mold exposure are stuffy nose,
irritated eyes, wheezing, difficulty
breathing and possible development
of skin reactions.
If walls or ceilings are discolored
or if there is a bad odor that smells
musty, earthy or foul, it is most like-
Because of possibly severe physi-
cal reactions to mold problems
or potential mold problems, SLS
encourages students to call the Ann
Arbor Housing Inspector's office
for a mold remediation service to
look at the problem or at any sign
of mold. The landlord is obligated to
fix the problem, Sim6n said.
LSA senior Colleen Russell said
having a landlord who keeps the
house up to code and secures both
'the inside and outside of the house
gives her peace of mind.
Russell, who lives in off-campus
housing, said her landlord took extra
precautions when he heard that a
house on the same street was broken
into during winter break.
"We were really lucky. We were
probably one of the few people on
this campus with a landlord who
takes care of problems right away,"
Continued from page 1A
State officials are reviewing the peti-
tions and the Board of State Canvassers
could vote on them at a May meeting. No
date has been set.
Operation King's Dream says it is
attempting to contact a sample of 500
people whose signatures appear on the
petitions. About 300 of those signatures
will be challenged, the group said. It also
is filing affidavits from more than 80
petition signers and five petition circula-
tors who say there were misled.
Wayne County Circuit Court Judge
Robert Ziolkowski is among those who
say they were misled.
Ziolkowski said he was familiar with
the affirmative action issue when he was
asked to sign a petition outside a Detroit
store. He said the signature gatherer, a
black woman, told him it was a petition
to protect affirmative action.
Ziolkowski said he skimmed the peti-
tion but did not read it closely, taking the
circulator at her word. He signed, then
went inside the store - where he was
told by other customers it actually was
a petition for the Michigan Civil Rights
Initiative, which seeks to end race and
"I went back outside and read it
through, then took a pen and struck my
name from it," said Ziolkowski, adding
that he is opposed to efforts to end affir-
Ziolkowski said the petition circula-
tor told him she was saying what she was
told to say upon being hired to gather sig-
The amendment would stop public
agencies and universities from grant-
ing preferential treatment based on
race, color, ethnicity, national origin
The effort to ban preferences has
been backed by Ward Connerly, a for-
mer University of California regent
and a national leader in the effort to
ban race and gender preferences.
The campaign began after the U.S.
Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that the
University of Michigan's law school
could consider race when admitting
Mof M St
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FALL SUBLET WANTED. Grad student
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Need a short term lesase during the
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The U-M Kellogg Eye Center is currently
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