Michigan is one of the most lucrative markets for investing in real estate. If you plan to invest in a Michigan rental property, it’s important to understand the landlord-tenant laws that rule the state to avoid any potential issues. As a landlord, you have the responsibility to ensure that you stay in compliance with the law.

Understanding the Michigan landlord-tenant law is important so that you’ll know your rights and responsibilities as a landlord, as well as those of your tenants. This way, you’ll be able to deal with legal issues that may arise during the course of a lease term.

Required Landlord Disclosures in Michigan

In Michigan, landlords are required to disclose certain information to tenants. Under Michigan law, these are the mandatory disclosures:

Non-refundable Fees

Non-refundable fees are optional disclosures, however, landlords are recommended to include all non-refundable charges in the lease agreement to avoid any issues with tenants. Failure to do so may make tenants eligible for a refund when the lease expires.

Security Deposit

In Michigan, landlords may charge a security deposit with a maximum amount equivalent to 1.5 months’ worth of rent.

Landlords must include the security deposit receipt disclosure, which requires the tenant to notify the landlord in writing (within four days of moving to a new address) where they can be reached and receive mail.

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Landlords are also required to return the security deposits, minus any itemized deductions, to the tenants within 30 days after move-out.

Rights of Domestic Violence Victims

According to Michigan law, landlords are required to include a specific clause on protection from domestic abuse in the rental agreement. This clause allows a tenant to be released of their rental obligation as long as the tenant can prove that they’re a victim of domestic violence.

Truth in Renting Act

The Truth in Renting Act disclosure is applicable to all rental properties in the state of Michigan. This means that all rental agreements in the state of Michigan must include a statement that indicates the rights of the tenants under the law.

Owner or Agent Identity

Michigan law also requires landlords to disclose their names and addresses and their authorized representatives.

The names, contact information, and addresses should be provided in the lease. This is to create smooth communication between landlords, their representatives, and the tenants.

Move-in Checklist

If Michigan landlords choose to charge a security deposit, they need to provide two copies of the inspection reports detailing the property’s condition within seven days after move-in.

Landlords will use this checklist upon move-out inspection. The move-in checklist should include any present damage and specific furnishings that are included in the rental unit.

Landlords should also indicate that these must be returned in the same condition as they were when tenants moved in.

Tenant Rights and Responsibilities in Michigan

In Michigan, a tenant has the right to:

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  • Live in a habitable space
  • Receive their security deposit (or what remains of it after allowable deductions) within a reasonable timeframe after moving out
  • Receive fair housing opportunities
  • Take legal action if the landlord violates any provisions in the lease
  • Not be evicted as a form of retaliation or discrimination

Tenants can legally break a lease due to:

  • The early termination clause
  • Domestic violence
  • Uninhabitable unit
  • Landlord harassment
  • Senior citizen health issues
  • Active military duty

In Michigan, tenants have the responsibilities of:

  • Maintaining the upkeep of the unit to keep it safe and habitable
  • Keeping the peace in the neighborhood
  • Reporting maintenance issues immediately

Michigan Landlord Rights and Responsibilities

In Michigan, landlords have the right to:

  • Collect the cost of repairs for damages beyond normal wear and tear
  • Collect rent payments on a timely and regular basis
  • Process an eviction over any legal grounds for one
  • Raise rent with a legal justification and provided notice

Basic landlord responsibilities in the state of Michigan include:

  • Providing tenants with a habitable living space
  • Performing repairs within a reasonable timeframe
  • Addressing emergency issues within 24 hours
  • Returning the security deposit (minus allowable deductions) within 30 days after the move-out date

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  • Providing tenants with basic housing needs defined by local code requirements

An Overview of the Landlord-Tenant Laws in Michigan

Tenant Privacy and Landlord’s Right to Enter the Dwelling

Michigan law does not state how much notice landlords must give before entering a rental property. Both parties must mutually agree on this. Landlords are not required to give notice to enter the property in case of emergencies.

Maintenance and Repairs

Michigan landlords must ensure that the property meets a certain level of habitability. They are mandated to make requested non-emergency repairs in a reasonable timeframe, while emergencies must be responded to within 24 hours.

Michigan’s Housing Discrimination Laws

The Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants based on race, national origin, color, sex, religion, familial status, or disability. In Michigan, tenants are also protected from being discriminated against based on age and marital status.

Renters’ Rights to Withhold Rent in Michigan

Michigan tenants have the right to live in a habitable property due to Michigan’s [Implied Warranty of Habitability](http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(g1m0gex5iubf3zbv12raedmz). If a landlord fails to provide a habitable dwelling space, the tenant may legally break the lease early. Tenants also have the right to get their security deposits back after the lease term ends.

Small Claims Lawsuits in Michigan

Rent-related disputes amounting to less than $5,000 can be settled in Michigan small claims court. However, it is extremely rare for lanldlord-tenant cases to be taken to small claims court. The court will not handle evictions, cases having to do with damages, or cases having to do with disagreements that do not involve money.

In the rare case that a landlord-tenant issue is accepted in small claims court in Michigan, it usually revolves around the return of a security deposit or other money.

Conclusion

Ensuring that you’re well versed in all of the Michigan landlord-tenant laws is crucial when owning a rental property. That being said, it can be hard to keep up with the changing laws when you’re managing a property on your own.

Consider hiring an accomplished property manager! At Compass Property Management, we have the experience and expertise to meet all your property management needs. Contact us today to get started!

Disclaimer: This blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Laws change, and this post might not be updated at the time of your reading. Please contact us for any questions you have in regards to this content or any other aspect of your property management needs.