MILWAUKEE (AP) - A Republican lawmaker pushing a sweeping landlord-tenant bill would himself benefit from one of its provisions.
The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Duey Stroebel of Saukville, proposes several changes involving landlord-tenant relationships. One provision would eliminate the landlord registration program, which requires all commercial property owners to record ownership information with the city Department of Neighborhood Services.
Stroebel owns a building on Milwaukee's east side that's valued at $635,500, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Art Dahlberg, the commissioner of the Department of Neighborhood Services, said the program helps landlords manage property risk, and it also gives emergency officials a quick way to reach landlords.
Stroebel declined a Journal Sentinel request for an interview but said in a statement there's no conflict of interest when lawmakers guide legislation that affect their own businesses as long as it affects everyone else in the field equally.
"It is a good thing to have citizen legislators who have real world knowledge and experience on the issues, rather than career politicians relying on lobbyists for information, making policy decisions," he said.
Stroebel's building, at 2535 N. Stowell Ave., is just outside the boundaries of another city program. That pilot program, which would also be eliminated under Stroebel's bill, is called the Residential Rental Inspection program.
Under that program, owners must register rental properties with the city and submit to an inspection. Owners are then issued one- or four-year certificates noting the properties are in compliance with city codes and regulations.
Alderman Nik Kovac, whose district includes the east side, said landlords were initially unhappy about the Residential Rental Inspection program, but now that it's in place many landlords have no problem with it.
"If the bill passes, it will encourage landlords to be less attentive to their property" Kovac said.
Alderman Michael Murphy also blasted Stroebel's bill. He said last week the program was an "incredibly successful initiative" and said it was a way to hold landlords accountable.
Stroebel's bill, with amendments, has already passed the Assembly. A Senate version is being considered by its Insurance and Housing Committee.
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