A summary of Michigan Landlord Tenant Laws based on state law statutes as they apply to residential lease agreements executed between landlords and tenants.
Required Disclosures (by Landlords)
Move-in Checklist: Landlord must provide tenant with move-in checklist. However, the requirement does not need to be stated in the lease. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.608)
Contact Information: A rental agreement must include the name and address at which notice can be given to the landlord. (Mich. Comp. Laws §554.634)
Truth in Renting Act: A rental agreement must also state in a prominent place in type not smaller than the size of 12-point type, or in legible print with letters not smaller than 1/8 inch, a notice in substantially the following form:”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.” (Mich. Comp. Laws §554.634)
Domestic Violence: A rental agreement or lease may contain a provision stating, “A tenant who has a reasonable apprehension of present danger to him or her or his or her child from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking may have special statutory rights to seek a release of rental obligation under MCL 554.601b.” If the rental agreement or lease does not contain such a provision, the landlord must post an identical written notice visible to a reasonable person in the landlord’s property management office, or deliver written notice to the tenant when the lease or rental agreement is signed. (Mich. Comp. Laws §554.601b)
Security Deposit: Within 14 days of tenant’s taking possession of the rental, landlord must furnish in writing the landlord’s name and address for receipt of communications, the name and address of the financial institution or surety where the deposit will be held, and the tenant’s obligation to provide in writing a forwarding mailing address to the landlord within 4 days after termination of occupancy. The notice shall include the following statement in 12-point boldface type that is at least 4 points larger than the body of the notice or lease agreement: “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.” (Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 554.602 to 554.616)
Security Deposit Limit
The maximum amount charged may not exceed the equivalent of one and one-half months’ rent. The name and address of the financial institution or surety where the deposit will be held must disclosed to the tenant.
Deadline for Returning Security Deposit
After the tenant has moved out, the deposit must be returned within 30 days along with an itemized statement if there any deductions taken for damage, unpaid rent, etc. Tenants have up to seven days to dispute any deductions or surrender the right to dispute. To ensure timely communication, landlords should remind tenants of their obligation to provide a forwarding address within 4 days after they move out.
Small Claims Lawsuits
The maximum limit for small claims court filings is $5,500. Cases could include claims such as security deposit disputes, unpaid rent and damage.
There is no state statute addressing late fees. Therefore, the lease must mention when late fees can be assessed and how much. If it doesn’t, then the only remedy is to file a notice to quit as explained under Termination and Eviction.
Month-to-Month agreements typically require a 30 day notice to change the terms of the agreement. Longer term leases must spell out the details of an increase or one may not occur.
Tenant’s Right to Withhold Rent
A tenant may withhold rent or repair a problem and deduct the cost from the next month’s rent if a landlord is notified and fails to take care of an essential repair in a timely manner. See see Mich. Comp. Laws § 125.530 for withholding rent. See Rome v. Walker, 198 N.W.2d 458 (1972) and Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.139 for repairing and deducting.
Termination and Eviction
An unconditional quit notice giving 7 days to vacate may be used for failure to pay rent or a tenant willfully or negligently causing a serious and continuing health hazard or damage to the premises.
An expedited 24 hour unconditional notice to quit may be used for the manufacture, dealing, or possession of illegal drugs on leased premises. However, landlord must first file a police report and there must be a lease provision allowing termination for this reason.
A conditional 30 day notice to cure or quit must be used for tenancy at will or if the lease provides for termination for violations of its provisions.
Victims of domestic violence have a right to terminate tenancy early. However, the landlord has the right to demand proof. If the victim does not want to terminate early, the Landlord or court may also elect evict the abuser, but not the victim of the domestic violence.
Michigan Lease Agreement
Michigan Landlord-Tenant Law Statutes
Michigan Comp. Laws §§ 554.131 to .201 & 554.601 to 554.641.