Going off of last week’s post concerning low-income tenant exploitation, a question that naturally arises is should a tenant who fall below a certain income threshold be entitled to low-cost or free legal representation? The first objection, of course, is who is going to pay for it? While some attorneys are willing to volunteer their time, either directly or through a legal aid society, such measures are few and far between. Moreover, landlords—and their attorneys—have a crucial advantage right off the bat, namely aggregation.
How legally exploitable are lower-class tenants in Michigan? It’s an empirical question, and one that has not been thoroughly researched (as far as my scan of Google Scholar can tell). Even so, it’s not difficult to imagine how landlords, in concert with unscrupulous attorneys, could shake down tenants for extra cash even if they are not substantially behind on their rent.