This bill shows an understanding by legislators that problems do arise with vacant property, especially as it pertains to property that is between foreclosure of a mortgage, and through the redemption period. But the bill falls short in other areas.
If a property is in the process of transferring hands to another owner, it’s understandable that the liability to the owner that has vacated the property should also be minimized. We feel this is good for all concerned.
Where we feel the bill falls short is when it pertains to property that people enter without asking permission and end up getting hurt. Why should the law protect trespassers more so than the property owner? In our opinion, it shouldn’t — and lawmakers should reconsider.
The law also provides for numerous provisions as it pertains to children, which further leaves this law out-of-bounds. Holding a property owner responsible for an injury that occurs to someone who doesn’t have permission to be there in the first place is unfair and senseless.
Children wander. They always have and always will. Parents need to be responsible for the welfare of their children, not some property owner who didn’t invite them onto his or her land in first place.
We encourage lawmakers to take another look at this bill and redirect the responsibility of injury to the appropriate party.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.