Overview of the Landlord-Tenant Laws in Michigan

By mousa

The relationship between landlords and tenants, just like in most states, is governed by Michigan rental laws. Specifically, it’s tightly regulated by Public Act 348 of 1972, which outlines both sides’ responsibilities.

Once tenants and landlords understand these laws, they should be able to deal with many legal questions without requiring a lawyer. This overview of landlord-tenant laws in Michigan should get you started.

Required Landlord Disclosures in Michigan

Landlords must disclose certain information to tenants, according to Michigan law. The following are the disclosures:

   ·      Nonrefundable Fees

A landlord must state all deposits and nonrefundable fees in writing. The lease or rental agreement must state the fees and explain their purposes.

   ·      Security deposit

Within 14 days of a tenant’s possession of the rental unit, the landlord must provide in writing the following: the tenant’s obligation to provide in writing a forwarding mailing address to the landlord within four days after termination of occupancy, the name and address of the financial institution or surety where the deposit will be held, and the landlord’s name and address for receipt of communications.

   ·      Rights of domestic violence victims

A rental agreement or lease may contain a provision stating the tenant and their children’s special statutory rights to seek a release of rental obligation as a result of their rational assessment of imminent danger from stalking, sexual assault or domestic violence.

If the lease or rental agreement doesn’t contain such a provision, the landlord must deliver a written notice to the renter when the lease is signed. The landlord may also post an identically written notice visible to a reasonable person in the landlord’s property management office.

   ·      Truth in Renting Act

A rental agreement must also state in legible print with letters not smaller than 1/8 inch, or state in a prominent place in type not smaller than the size of 12-point type, a notice stipulating the rights and responsibilities for parties to rental agreements.

   ·      Owner or agent identity

A rental agreement must include the name and address at which notice can be given to the landlord.

   ·      Move-in Checklist

Landlords must provide tenants with a move-in checklist. However, the requirement doesn’t have to be expressly included in the lease.


Michigan Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

The following are the basic Michigan renter’s rights. A tenant has the right to:

  • Remain in residence until proper procedure is taken to remove them;
  • Have repairs made within a reasonable amount of time after requesting the landlord for them;
  • Receive notice of changes in lease terms;
  • Written receipts for rent or deposits;
  • Privacy, peace, and quiet; and
  • A safe and sanitary home.

The following are the basic tenant responsibilities in the state of Michigan. A tenant must:

  • Provide the landlord with notice before vacating;
  • Abide by the terms of the lease agreement;
  • Keep noise levels down;
  • Inform the landlord of needed repairs, in writing, and keep a copy of the records;
  • Notify the landlord when away;
  • Take care of property; and
  • Pay the rent on time.

Read on Breaking a Lease in Michigan to have a clearer understanding on tenants rights.


Michigan Landlord Rights and Responsibilities

The following are the basic landlord rights in the state of Michigan:

  • Month-to-month tenants must provide 30 days written notice before vacating.
  • Renters must abide by all terms of the signed lease.
  • Renters should request repairs in a timely manner and in writing.
  • Tenants should let the landlord know when they are leaving town for an extended period of time.

The following are the basic landlord responsibilities in the state of Michigan. Landlords must:

  • Follow the legal eviction process set out in MCL Sec. 554.601a-606.
  • Abide by the lease agreement.
  • Give 15 days written notice of any changes in a month-to-month agreement unless the lease or rental agreement states otherwise.
  • Maintain peace and quiet.
  • Give renters 24-hour written notice prior to entering their home, except during emergencies.
  • Make requested repairs promptly.
  • Comply with all health and building codes that apply to the rental property.



Michigan Laws on Stalking, Sexual Assault, and Domestic Violence

In Michigan, tenants that reasonably believe that they or their children are victims of stalking, sexual assault, or domestic violence may end their lease early. The tenant may provide the following copies to back their statements:

  • A police report that led to the filing of charges;
  • An order to remove an abusive person from the home; or
  • An order of personal protection.


Eviction Laws in Michigan

There are a variety of reasons for which a landlord can Evict a Tenant. Some of these reasons include:

  • Holding over after the lease’s term expires
  • Violation of the lease
  • Illegal drug activity
  • Serious health hazard
  • Extensive damage to the property
  • Nonpayment of rent

Before filing for an eviction in Michigan court, the landlord must provide the renter a Notice to Quit. These are the notices and the amount of notice required:

Amount of Notice Required Reasons for Eviction
30 days Holding over at the end of the lease
30 days Violation of the lease
7 days Serious health hazard
7 days Extensive damage to the property
7 days Nonpayment of rent
24 hours Illegal drug activity

The landlord may mail the notice to the renter by first class mail, drop it off at the rental property, or deliver it to the tenant in person.

The following information should be contained in the notice:

  • Landlord’s signature
  • Date
  • Amount of time to take remedial action
  • Reason for the eviction
  • Address or rental property description
  • Tenant’s name


Rental Agreement Laws in Michigan

When the lease is over 12 months, a written rental agreement is required. A written agreement isn’t required for any tenancy shorter than 12 months. In Michigan, the lease cannot include a provision that does any of the following:

  • Requires the tenant to give the landlord a power of attorney
  • Violates Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act
  • Waive the landlord’s duty to minimize damages
  • Waives or alters the tenant’s rights in eviction proceedings
  • States that rental payments will accelerate if the renter violates a lease provision
  • Waives or alters a party’s right to demand a jury trial
  • Relieves the landlord from liability for the landlord’s failure to perform a duty imposed by law
  • Provides for a confession of judgment or warrant of attorney
  • Discriminates against a person because of their national origin, age, religion, sex, race, or disability
  • Waives the right established under the laws that regulate security deposits



Security Deposit Laws in Michigan

Most residential leases and rental agreements in Michigan require a security deposit. Michigan landlords may not charge more than one and a half month’s rent. If the landlord makes it mandatory for the tenant to pay the last month’s rent in advance, the payment is to be considered part of the security deposit.

Any refundable fee collected before the tenant moves in is considered part of the security deposit.

Landlords have two options when it comes to storing the security deposit. The landlord may purchase a cash or surety bond from the Secretary of State or the landlord may keep it in a bank account.

The landlord may withhold a security deposit in Michigan if the tenant:

  • Caused damage to the rented premises
  • Owes utility bills and/or rent

When it comes to returning the security deposit, the landlord has 30 days from the move-out date to either:

  • Send, by mail, an itemized list of damages charged to the deposit; or
  • Return the entire amount of the deposit by check or money order.


Michigan Fair Housing Rules

In Michigan, it’s unlawful for landlords to discriminate renters based on their:

  • Marital status
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Familial status
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Color
  • Race

These rules protect tenants in housing activities such as:

  • Terms and conditions, and provision of services
  • Insurance, both homeowners or renters
  • Financing, such as a mortgage or a home improvement loan
  • Viewing or renting an apartment or other property
  • Viewing or purchasing a home or other property


Notice of Entry Laws in Michigan

Michigan tenants have a right of “quiet enjoyment” of the rental premises, which includes protection against landlord’s unreasonable entry. In Michigan, unreasonable entry is illegal. It’s both a tort and a crime.

However, Michigan rental laws say nothing about entry notices. But generally, landlords usually give tenants a 24-hour notice before entering the rental unit.



Michigan Laws on Retaliation

Michigan has laws in place to shield tenants from retaliatory actions by landlords. Acts that can be considered retaliatory include:

  • Making a tenant’s stay unpleasant. For example, the landlord refuses to make repairs to the tenant’s unit. Blocking renter’s access to a parking spot. Restricting renter’s access to a common washer or dryer.
  • Not renewing the tenant’s lease. This may be in response to a tenant complaint or other acts by the tenant.
  • Harassing or threatening the renter.
  • Increasing rent.

Such retaliatory acts by the landlord against a tenant are illegal in Michigan.

This information doesn’t substitute for the legal advice of an attorney. For specific questions, readers should consider obtaining specific legal advice from a qualified Michigan attorney.

At Own it Detroit we specialize in managing your Detroit rental property, if you require any help with your investment please contact us today!

Topics: Blog