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Michigan Landlord-Tenant Laws

Michigan Landlord Tenant LawsThis article is intended to be an online resource for Michigan landlords.  We summarize key Michigan Landlord-Tenant laws that are most applicable to residential rental units.

This article is not qualified legal advice.  Individuals seeking guidance need to work with a legal advisor who is qualified in the jurisdiction.  Michigan Landlord Tenant Laws and statutes may vary from county to county or city to city, this article provides state level laws and statutes. 

Also, laws and statutes are subject to change and may cause sections of this article to be outdated.  We provide links to assist landlords and tenants to the state statute page for further research.

Click here if you are seeking renters insurance in Michigan.

 

Quick Facts for Real Estate Investors Considering Michigan

Michigan landlord-tenant laws are considered Landlord friendly.

There are 9.98 million residents in Michigan.  Major metropolitan markets in Michigan are:

  1. Detroit / Warren: Estimated population of 5,341,994, which 35% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $886.
  2. Grand Rapids: Estimated population of 1,412,470, which 27% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $871.
  3. Lansing / East Lansing: Estimated population of 550,391, which 36% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $871.
  4. Kalamazoo: Estimated population of 503,706, which 32% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $843.

 

Jump to Different Michigan Landlord Tenant Laws

 

 

 

 

SECURITY DEPOSIT LAWS IN MICHIGAN

 

Does Michigan require security deposits? 

Michigan does not require security deposits.  Landlords cannot require a security deposit prior to 14 days of move-in unless the landlord provides their name and address.  This notice should include this phrase:  “You must notify your landlord in writing within 4 days after you move of a forwarding address where you can be reached and where you will receive mail; otherwise your landlord shall be relieved of sending you an itemized list of damages and the penalties adherent to that failure.”  (Michigan Comp. Laws §§ 554.603)

 

Is a security deposit receipt required in Michigan? 

Michigan does not require landlords to provide a receipt of security deposit.  Landlord must provide the name and address of the financial institution where the deposit is being held within 14 days of move-in. (Michigan Comp. Laws §§ 554.603)

 

How much security deposit can a landlord charge in Michigan? 

In Michigan, a landlord cannot charge more than one and one-half’s month rent.  (§§ 554.602)

 

Can security deposits be commingled with other assets in Michigan? 

Michigan landlords can commingle their security deposits with other assets.  However, it is always recommended to keep them separated.  Michigan has no statute for commingling, only stating it must be kept in a financial institution.  (§§ 554.604)

 

Do landlords have to pay interest on security deposits in Michigan? 

No Statute.

 

When must a landlord return the deposit by in Michigan? 

In Michigan, landlords have 30 days to return the security deposit.  Landlords must send an itemized list via mail.  According to (§§ 554.609)

 

When can a landlord in Michigan withhold security deposit?

At the end of a lease, the landlord is required to return the tenant’s security deposit.  However, landlords may withhold all or portions of a tenant’s security deposit if:

  • Damage in excess of normal wear and tear
  • Unpaid rent
  • Unpaid utility bills

Landlords must include a list with the remaining security deposit. (§§ 554.607).

 

 

Nonrefundable fees: 

No statute

 

Pet Deposits and Additional Fees:

Michigan has no pet deposit.statutes.

 

Require written description / itemized list of damages and charges?

Landlords are required to provide written and itemized list of damages. (§§ 554.607)

 

What happens to Michigan landlords that fail to comply returning the security deposit?

When landlords in Michigan fail to comply with state law (§§ 554.613), they can be sued for double the amount of the security deposit withheld from tenant.  According to the penalty statue listed at (§§ 554.613).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RENTAL AGREEMENT LAWS IN MICHIGAN

 

Rental agreements required in Michigan:

Tenancies 12 months or longer in Michigan require a rental agreement.  If tenancy is less, it is still encouraged to create a written rental agreement.  If you need a lease, Burbz offers an online Michigan rental lease agreement.

 

What are the required lease provisions in Michigan?

Michigan requires certain provisions to be included in the lease agreement.  Besides both the landlord and tenant names, the landlord should also list:

  • Owner / Manager’s Name and Address
  • Include this statement:
    • NOTICE: Michigan law establishes rights and obligations for parties to rental agreements. This agreement is required to comply with the Truth in Renting Act. If you have a question about the interpretation or legality of a provision of this agreement, you may want to seek assistance from a lawyer or other qualified person.

 

It is also strongly recommended to include these provisions:

  • Term of the Lease
  • Amount of Rent
  • Rent due date
  • Security Deposit Amount and its coverage
  • Responsible parties for utilities
  • Responsible party for maintenance
  • Define reasonable amount for late fees and assessment date
  • Policy on subleasing
  • Liable party for utility expenses
  • Penalties for late rent payments
  • Landlord’s responsibilities
  • Tenant’s responsibilities
  • Pet policies
  • Security Deposit
  • Cleaning Fees
  • Other fees

 

Landlords cannot include:

  • Tenant’s waiving their right to go to court and settle debts that the landlord alleges
  • Tenant must pay for landlord’s legal fees associated with disputes over their lease agreement
  • Tenant accepting a blank waiver for landlord’s potential liability
  • Tenant waiving the landlord’s responsibility for a safe and sanitary dwelling
  • Tenant waiving their right for remedy if the rental unit endangers their health or safety
  • Tenant waiving their rights for regulated security deposits
  • Tenants waiving their rights against Fair Housing discrimination
  • Tenants waiving their right to demand a jury trial
  • Puts the financial burden of legal costs and attorney fees on the tenant, in excess of the state law
  • Allowing landlord to take security interest in any of the tenant’s personal property as a form of deposit for rent
  • Accelerating rent payments if the tenant breaches the lease agreement
  • Tenant waiving their rights in eviction proceeding
  • Tenant waives landlord from their duty to minimize damages
  • Requiring landlord to have power of attorney for tenant
  • Anything that violates Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act

 

 

What are the rental agreement notice requirements in Michigan: 

Fixed-End or Year-to-Year: One-year notice, although the lease agreement expires upon the completion date.  Unless a clause is added into the lease agreement.  (§§ 554.134(3))

Month-to-Month: 1 month.  For leases less than 3 months, notice must equal the duration between rent payments.  (§§ 554.134(1))

Week-to-Week: At least 1 week or more from lease expiration.  For leases less than 3 months, notice must equal the duration between rent payments.  (§§ 554.134(1))

 

What happens when the tenant remains without consent after the rental agreement expires or terminates?

No statute.

 

 

Does the lease automatically renew in Michigan? 

Leases terminate upon expiration, unless stated in the lease.

 

Rent Increase Notice:

No statute.

 

Rent Grace Period for Residential:

No Statute.

 

Prepaid Rent:

No statute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LATE FEES AND LIMITS IN MICHIGAN

Late Fees for Residential:

No statute. 

 

Late Fees for Manufactured Homes:

No statute.

 

Rent Grace Period for Manufactured Homes:

No statute.

 

 

Limits to late fees in Michigan:

No statute 

 

 

 

MICHIGAN LEASE TERMINATIONS / NOTICES TO QUIT

 

In Michigan, lease agreements between landlords and tenants can be terminated.  Read our blog for landlords about handling early lease terminations.  Here are the cause and effects:

 

What is the Pay or Quit for Nonpayment requirement in Michigan?

Michigan requires seven days to remedy or quit. (§§ 554.134(4))

 

How many days must a landlord allow before terminating for a Lease Violation?

Landlord must provide a 24 hour notice for the following situations:

  • Drug activity

 

Landlord must provide a 7 day notice for the following situations:

  • Excessive damage to property
  • Tenant in possession willfully or negligently that could cause health hazards or safety issues

 

Landlord must provide a 30 day notice for the following situations:

  • Tenant holdover after lease expires
  • Breach of lease agreement

 

More information at (§§ 600.5714)

 

 

 

How many days when terminating for illegal drug-related activities?

Tenants using, possessing or selling illegal drugs on premises can have their lease terminated with 24 hours notice.  (§§ 554.134(4))

 

 

 

 

MICHIGAN LAWS ON REPAIRS

 

Michigan tenants are legally allowed to make repairs and deduct the cost from rent.  However, the following protocol must be followed before doing so:

How many days must the tenant give for non-emergency repairs? 

Tenants must provide reasonable time for standard repairs. More sever repairs might require quicker resolutions but there is not a set timeline.  If the landlord fails to address the problem, the tenant may file a a claim with enforcement agency and pay into an escrow account established by said agency. (§§ 125.530)

 

Can tenant without rent for landlords’ failure to provide essential services (i.e. water, heat, etc.)?

No.  Tenants may deposit rent into an escrow account until landlord repairs the issues or lease is terminated. (§§ 125.530)

 

 

If the landlord fails to take necessary action, then the tenants can legally:

Michigan allows tenants to:

  • Seek remedy through court

 

 

 

MICHIGAN LANDLORD RESPONSIBILITIES

What must the landlord provide in good and working order?

Michigan defines certain responsibilities for landlords, including:

  • Must comply with all applicable building codes affecting health and safety
  • Must keep all common areas in a clean and safe condition

More information at (§§ 554.139).

 

 

Do landlords have to provide appliances and services?

No Statute.

 

 

 

 

MICHIGAN TENANT LAWS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Tenant must maintain a fit and habitable premise and is prohibited from intentionally or negligently damaging or removing any part of the premise.  Cannot partake in drug-related activities or disturb the peaceful enjoyment of the neighbors.  

 

 

 

 

 

MICHIGAN EVICTION LAWS

 

Michigan requires a landlord to file a foricble entry and detainer action to evict a tenant. (§§ 554.134)

 

Landlords may evict tenants for the following:

  • Not paying rent
  • Violation of lease / Breach of contract
  • Extensive damaging of property
  • Health and safety hazards caused by tenant
  • Drug use on premises

 

 

Can landlords do a ‘self help’ eviction?

In Michigan, it is illegal for landlords to attempt to evict a tenant not through a court order.

Are landlords allowed to lock out tenants by changing locks?

Landlords cannot change locks. (§§ 600.2918(2)(c & d))

Are landlords allowed to turn off utilities?

Landlords cannot turn off utilities. (§§ 600.2918(2)(f))

Tenants may not be evicted for non-payment of rent if:

No Statute.

 

 

 

 

 

MICHIGAN LAWS ON RETALIATION

 

Michigan laws state a landlord cannot terminate a lease, refuse a lease renewal or raise rents when:

  • Tenant submitted a complaint to government agency for building or health code violation
  • Tenant has sent written complaints to the landlords about repairs
  • Tenant joined fellow tenants to negotiate or deal collectively on terms and conditions of the lease agreement with the landlord

 

If a landlord responds negatively within 90 days, it is assumed to be retaliation.  (§§ 600.5720)

 

 

 

 

LAWS ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, AND SEXUAL ASSAULT

A landlord cannot discriminate against prospective tenants or tenants because they have been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, rape or stalking.

Verify Claim:

No Statute.  However, the tenant must provide documentation by certified mail for proof to support fear of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault.  Any of these suffice:

  • Order of personal protection
  • Order to remove an abusive person from the premises
  • Police report from instance that resulted in charges
  • Conditional release, probation or parole order indicating the accused offender cannot make contact with tenant or children.

 

Can a tenant terminate the least if they are a victim of domestic violence: 

Michigan state law says a tenant with proof of Domestic Violence status is allowed to terminate the lease early.  Landlords can only charge 2 months of rent as an early termination fee.

 

Who is responsible for Recovery of Losses: 

No Statute.

 

Must Landlords Change Locks:

No Statute.

 

 

 

MICHIGAN LAWS FOR LOCKS AND LANDLORDS

 

Are landlords requested to change locks before new tenants:

No Statute.

 

 

Are landlords required to install any specific security device:

No Statute.

 

 

 

MICHIGAN PET LAWS & PET POLICIES

Michigan does not have any specific pet laws.  Landlords are legally allowed to create their own pet policies and requirements.  Including tolerance for breeds, size, types, and more.  Read our guide to pet policies.

 

 

What are the max pet deposits in Michigan:

No statute.

 

 

 

 

DO LANDLORDS IN MICHIGAN NEED A RENTAL LICENSE?

 

According to Michigan Landlord-Tenant Laws, landlords that self-manage their rental properties do not need a rental license in Michigan. Property managers are required to be licensed by the state.  Detroit does require landlords to register and certify their properties with the city.

 

 

 

 

 

NOTICE OF ENTRY LAWS IN MICHIGAN

Do landlords in Michigan have to provide notice of entry? 

Michigan does not require landlords to provide any notice.  However, it is recommended that landlords provide 24 hours’ notice for normal circumstances entry.    This includes:

  • Non-emergency maintenance and repairs
  • Inspections
  • Showing prospective tenants the unit
  • If premises appear to be empty and abandoned

 

When can a landlord enter without notice:

According to (§§ 600.2918), landlords may enter:

  • Emergencies
  • If premises appear to be empty and abandoned; and rent has not been paid

 

 

 

Can landlords enter for non-emergency maintenance and repairs?

Yes.  Only as necessary for needed repairs. (§§ 600.2918(3)(b))

 

 

Can landlords enter for showings?

No Statute.

 

 

Can landlords enter for emergencies without notice?

No Statute.

 

 

Can landlords enter during Tenant’s extended absence?

Yes.  However the landlord in good faith must believe the tenant has abandoned the rental property with no intention to return, and rent has been unpaid.  (§§ 600.2918(3)(c))

 

 

Can landlords enter for pesticide use?

No statute. 

 

 

 

 

MICHIGAN SUBLEASE AND ASSIGNMENT PROVISIONS

Is subleasing permitted?

No statute.  Landlords are encouraged to include a clause in the lease agreement if they want to retain control of subleasing.

 

 

Do you need the landlord consent?

If the lease includes a clause stating the landlord allows or requires consent. 

 

 

Can the LL / lease prohibit subletting?

Yes, if it included in the rental agreement.

 

 

 

 

TENANT ABANDONED PROPERTY IN MICHIGAN

 

Michigan Landlord-Tenant Laws does not specific procedures that landlords must follow when tenants leave belongings.  Landlords should send notice to tenant’s last known address indicating the possession of personal property with the intention to dispose by a certain date.  Indicate how to contact landlord, where their personal property is being stored and any costs associated with storing their property.

 

How long must landlords hold Tenant’s personal property?

No state.

 

How long notice must landlords give if law enforcement has legally locked them out?

No Statute.

 

Can the landlords sell property to pay for outstanding debts?

There is no statute stating otherwise.  This should be included in the rental agreement.. 

 

What happens to excess proceeds?

With the lack of abandoned property laws in Michigan, it is recommended to keep proceeds after the debt payments in a trust account for at least 1 year. 

 

How long must landlords keep records of the sale for?

No Statute.

 

Landlord must store the tenant’s abandoned property where:

No Statute.

 

 

 

Are the landlords liable for damage?

No statute.

 

 

 

 

REQUIRED RENTAL AGREEMENT DISCLOSURES FOR MICHIGAN LEASES

 

Michigan Landlord-Tenant Laws requires the following be included with all Rental Agreement Disclosures:

 

Lead Paint Disclosure:  Yes.  Federal law requires every landlord to disclose known information on lead-based paint and hazards.  Landlords must provide this EPA-approved pamphlet.

 

 

 

 

HELPFUL RESOURCES

 

 

State Bar of Michigan: Landlord-Tenant Law

Detroit’s Buildings, Safety, Engineering & Environmental Department: Rental Property Regulations

Michigan Legal Help – Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

Michigan Tenant Counseling Program Resource Library

Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit

Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan

Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan

Fair Housing Center of West Michigan

Michigan Information on Purchasing Home and Renters Insurance

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Michigan

 

 

 

 

MICHIGAN RELATED COURT INFO & LINKS

Michigan Small Claims Court Limits:

$5,000 is the minimum for small claims court.  (§§ 600.8401)

Michigan Courts Self-Help Center: Small Claims

 

Michigan Eviction Cases Allowed in Small Claims:

No.  Evictions are filed through the district court system. (Michigan Rev. Code Ann. §§ 1923.01(A))

 

Michigan Trial Court Directories by County

Michigan Courts

Michigan Attorney General

Michigan Bar Association

Michigan Legal Services

Detroit Free Legal Aid Clinic

 

 

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