LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A package of bills introduced to the Michigan House of Representatives is aiming to protect renters.

If passed, the Renter’s Bill of Rights would prevent landlord’s from being able to discriminate against tenants on the basis of race, religion or criminal background.

Additionally, landlords allowing their tenants to live in poor conditions would be in charge of paying for relocation costs until their properties are up to code.

Michiganders would also be offered free legal counsel to guarantee ‘just cause’ for evictions. Tenants would also have the right to organize against their landlord, which would enable tenants to buy their landlord’s property.

State Rep. Emily Dievendorf is one of the bill’s sponsors.

She said that if a landlord is not able to take care of their property, legislation would make it so that tenants could buy the property before anyone else.

“So that there wouldn’t be a transition of folks leaving and losing their housing especially if its a place they were more committed to then their landlord,” Dievendorf said.

The legislation comes after an onslaught of red-tags have been placed on apartment complexes and rental homes in the Capital City.

Lansing’s city council recently addressed the red-tags in a four hour meeting last month.

Council members heard from people struggling in the aftermath of their rental properties being marked unsafe.

“All of us are culpable in this situation, council, the administration, EDP and code compliance,” said Lansing City Council President Carol Wood.

The city’s interim director of economic development and planning, Barb Kimmel, was pressed on the state of red tags and code enforcement officers.

Kimmel said her office was not fully trained on the tracking software the office uses, making it difficult to track follow-up enforcement, duplicate reports and detailed searches.

“We have a lot of inspections that are incomplete, we have a lot of properties that are out of compliance,” Kimmel admitted. “We don’t know the full extent of everything at this very moment.”

She also shared that there is no set checklist for code enforcement officers to use when evaluating properties.

Mayor Schor was also pressed about the state of code enforcement and housing. He says he’s confident that performance will turn around.

“We’re doing a top to bottom review,” Schor said in the meeting. “I think looking into the system and making sure we have an effective system moving forward is what we can do to make sure we are on top of these issues.”

Democrats expect to propose the legislation in the upcoming weeks and hope to have it passed by next winter.