Michigan Landlord Tenant Rights
Landlords and tenants in the state of Michigan have both rights and responsibilities in relation to rental properties. They can be hard to keep track of, but don't worry! We've collected the important information you need to know about rentals in Michigan.
Landlords in Michigan have the following responsibilities to their tenants:
- Maintenance of the structure and systems such as water, plumbing, heating, and electricity.
- Garbage removal if the rental is a multi-family unit.
- Railings, staircases, and fire exits in all units. Smoke detectors must be provided in multi-family units.
- Landlords may be responsible for mold in rental units, depending on the cause.
- Must provide a "good faith effort" to make sure the unit is free of bedbugs.
- A written rental agreement must be provided for any tenancy of 12 months or longer. For shorter lease periods, written agreements aren't required but are strongly recommended.
- Make repairs in a "reasonable" amount of time for non-emergencies, or within 24 hours for emergency situations.
- Michigan requires that landlords provide tenants with certain disclosures. Some of these may be included in the rental agreement or lease; some might be separate disclosures. The state mandates the following:
- Authorized agent disclosure, providing names and addresses of all owners and managers of the property
- Lead-based paint disclosure
- Truth in renting disclosure, which is a very specifically formatted disclosure. You can find further information about this here.
- Domestic violence prevention disclosure, letting victims of domestic abuse know what their rights are in regards to housing
- Move-in checklist, which provides an inventory of the condition of the rental unit
Tenants also have responsibilities to landlords. These include:
- Reimburse landlord for damages beyond normal wear-and-tear
- Follow the terms of the lease in regards to what is allowed on the property and what isn't.
- Pay rent promptly.
- Tenants may withhold rent or deduct their repair costs from rent if their landlord does not handle required repairs in a "reasonable" amount of time. This must be communicated with the landlord via certified mail
The allowable security deposit is no more than 1.5x the monthly rent. Landlords can deduct owed rent and damages beyond normal wear-and-tear from the security deposit. Security deposits, minus any allowed deductions, need to be returned within 30 days of the end of the tenant's lease or occupancy.
Rent and Fees
There is no rent control in Michigan, so rents can be raised by any amount. Month-to-month tenants must be given 30 days' notice prior to an increase in rent. Tenants with leases may not have their rent increased during the period of their lease, unless the signed lease says that rent increases are allowed.
Landlords can charge fees in the following circumstances: application, late rent, and returned checks.
Michigan has no statute regarding pets in rental units, except to state that service animals much be allowed. In practice, this means that pets may or may not be allowed, as determined by the lease.
Evictions for nonpayment of rent begin with the landlord providing the tenant a 7-day Demand for Nonpayment of Rent. If rent isn’t paid in that timeframe, eviction proceedings can begin. Evictions for lease violations or the end of a lease begin with the landlord providing the tenant with a 30-day Notice to Quit.
If the eviction process continues, the landlord must create a summons and complaint, get them approved by a court, and then serve them to the tenant. A court hearing will then be scheduled, and both the landlord and tenant are required to attend.
Lease Termination Notice
Michigan leases have an end date, at which point they terminate. Tenants and landlords then need to agree to sign a new lease, or move to month-by-month tenancy. Tenants make break leases by providing 7 days of notice for weekly leases, 30 days for monthly leases, and one year for annual leases. However, leases can be legally broken for several reasons, including active military service, domestic abuse, or uninhabitable unit.
Tenants may be required to pay for the remainder of the time on their broken lease. Michigan landlords are not required to re-rent a unit that's under lease.