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About 9% of the entire Michigan population is renting their property, meaning that from their 9.987 million people, about 898.830 are renters. With the high density of landlords in this state, it's important that everyone follows the Michigan landlord-tenant law as closely as possible to keep a proper leasing relationship between landlords and tenants.

Fortunately, the state of Michigan provides general guidelines that can be easily followed by all the parties involved in a lease. While each rental agreement can be unique for each landlord, most of them follow the same foundation. In this article, we're going to go over the Michigan landlord-tenant law so you understand the rules and obligations for everyone. If you have specific doubts about a leasing case in Michigan, consider seeking legal advice from an attorney.

What is a Lease Agreement in Michigan?

A lease agreement is a document in which Michigan landlords state their conditions for leasing their property. This arrangement includes the landlord's specific requirements depending on their needs, but it also includes particular clauses under Michigan law that have to be followed to comply with the state's requirements.

Is a Lease Agreement in Michigan an Oral or Written Document?

According to state laws, a rental agreement in Michigan may be done orally or in written form if the lease's duration is under 12 months. If the lease is 12 months or longer, the lease must be written to comply with Michigan law.

While Michigan landlords have both options available, it's always recommended that they go for a written rental agreement since it serves as physical proof of all the conditions that the landlord and tenant agreed upon. Keep in mind that written leases have to include the name and address of the owner of the property, as well as a statement that indicates that the lease is compliant with the Truth in Renting Act.

Can a Landlord in Michigan Make Adjustments to the Lease After it Starts?

Michigan landlords may make adjustments to the lease as long as they provided a clause that permits it in the lease. If this is the case, landlords must send a written notice to the tenant 30 days before making that adjustment. However, laws in Michigan limit the type of changes that a landlord can make to the lease; these changes may be done if they're required by state laws or needed to enhance health and safety conditions inside the property or cover additional expenses due to increases in utility bills, taxes, etc.

Is Michigan a Landlord-Friendly State?

Michigan is generally considered a landlord-friendly state since there aren't many regulations regarding rent control policies, late fees, or grace periods. However, due to the high amount of renters in the state, Michigan can also be considered a great place for tenants to find a place to live without too many issues.

Landlords' Rights and Obligations in Michigan?

Rights

According to Michigan landlord-tenant law, landlords have the right to collect rent payments on time and use the tenant's security deposit to cover damages that exceed common wear and tear.

Obligations

Landlords must provide the tenant with a property that complies with the local warranty of habitability, which means that the property has to be in an inhabitable condition before the tenant moves in. Additionally, the landlord must provide requested repairs for damages in a reasonable amount of time (usually stipulated in the lease document). In the case of emergencies, the repairs for damages must be done within 24 hours of the notice sent by the tenant.

If the landlord fails to provide these repairs to the rental property in time, the tenant may deduct the damages' repair costs from their monthly rent or seek legal help with a court of law.

What Are Tenants' Rights and Obligations in Michigan?

Rights

Tenant rights allow them to request a rental property in good condition, the return of their security deposit once they move out, and occasional repairs for damages (if needed.)

A Michigan tenant may send a written notice if they see constant damages in utilities inside their home, and the landlord must respond promptly. If the landlord doesn't provide a fix for these damages within notice from the tenant, the tenant may seek legal advice from a court of law or withhold rent payments to cover the damages themselves.

Obligations

Aside from their rights, tenants in Michigan have an obligation to:

  • Pay rent on time.
  • Make small repair jobs to the rental unit (If they see any small damages during the lease).
  • Not disturb other people living nearby (Other tenants or neighbors)
  • Keep the rental unit in a clean, safe, and habitable condition.

Tenants who fail to comply with these requirements may be exposed to early termination of their leases.

Michigan General Statutes

These are a set of general guidelines that every tenant and landlord in Michigan must follow to ensure a good leasing relationship. When it comes to renting laws, Michigan is a fairly flexible state, so the landlord may adjust some of these statutes to their needs.

Rent Payment Statute

The landlord may request their tenant any amount they consider appropriate for rent since landlord-tenant laws in Michigan prohibits any kind of rent control policies. Additionally, landlords can increase rent prices without sending an advanced notice to their tenant. However, it's suggested that advanced notice is sent to the tenant to avoid future issues.

Michigan landlord-tenant laws indicate that the renter can accept any form of a rent payment that they consider appropriate. Online payments are heavily suggested since they're more comfortable for both parties.

Last but not least, Michigan landlord-tenant laws don't specify any information regarding grace periods or late fees; this means that the landlord can decide to include (or not) these clauses inside the agreement. Late fees are recommended since they can motivate the tenant to pay rent on time.

Security Deposit Statute

Security deposits can be requested by the landlord if they want. The value of a deposit cannot be higher than one month and a half of rent. The landlord may request the tenant to make a rent payment in advance, but that amount is going to be considered part of the security deposit.

Tenants have the legal right to request the return of their security deposit once they move out of the rental unit. In these cases, the tenant has to send the landlord their forwarding address within four days of moving out to receive the deposit; the landlord must return the security deposit within 30 days or send an itemized list of the damages that are going to be covered with the security deposit.

If the tenant doesn't agree with the itemized list of damages, they have approximately seven days to respond to these claims.

It's important to note that landlords can withhold security deposits if the tenant refuses to pay pending rent or utility bills. Last but not least, security deposits can be stored in a bank account or through a cash/surety bond.

Termination and Eviction Statute

According to Michigan landlord-tenant laws, tenants can terminate the agreement after it ends, but they have to send their landlord advanced eviction notice depending on the leasing type. The required notice may be sent as follows:

  • Weekly Leases Statute - Seven days (One week) of notice.
  • Monthly Leases Statute - 30 days (One month) of notice.
  • Yearly Leases Statute - 365 days (One year) of notice.

Additionally, tenants' rights also allow them to send a termination notice before the contract ends. However, they are required to comply with one of the following conditions:

  • Domestic Violence
  • Health issues.
  • Active military duty.
  • Landlord harassment.
  • Early termination clauses.

Landlords have the right to send an eviction/termination notice to their tenant for any of the following reasons:

  • Breaches in the document.
  • Criminal activity.
  • Nonpayment of rent.

In these cases, the landlord may send the tenant a notice to quit, cure, or pay, depending on the circumstance. At-will tenants must receive a termination/eviction notice within 30 days of getting moved out of the unit.

See our full guide on the eviction process and laws for Michigan.

eviction process and laws for Michigan

Domestic Violence Statute

If the tenant becomes a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, they have the right to terminate the contract. However, they must send the landlord a written notice by certified mail before they move out. This information has to be backed up with proof of violence, assault, or stalking.

Conclusion

The Michigan landlord-tenant law must be followed at all times to prevent legal issues with a court of law. It's especially important to comply with the rental, deposit, and general housing clauses to ensure a good renting experience.

If you need to clear up any additional clauses regarding landlord-tenant laws in this area, make sure to contact an experienced attorney.

FAQs

What information about authorized parties must be disclosed to the tenant?

The landlord is required to provide information on all the parties involved in the rental contract.

Is the landlord obligated to disclose information about lead paint to the tenant?

According to the law and tenant rights, the landlord must provide the tenant information about lead concentrations before they move in. This applies if the rental unit was built before 1978. The landlord also must send the tenant a copy of EPA's pamphlet.

Does the landlord have the right to enter the property in Michigan?

There isn't any information about the required amount of notice that the landlord must give before they move inside the rental apartment. In most cases, the landlord and tenant come up with a notification system to avoid issues.

Do tenants have housing protection in Michigan?

The Fair Housing Act protects the potential tenant from any type of discrimination based on their race, religion, familial status, disability, or color.

Resources

  1. Michigan Landlord-Tenant Law - Michigan Legislature
  2. State Bar of Michigan
David Bitton

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his two children, he's writing articles here!