State Rules and Regulations for Michigan Rental Properties and Landlords

In Michigan, oral and written leases are allowed, but leases longer than 1-year must be in written form to be valid. Michigan law (Landlord and Tenant Relationship Act 348 of 1972) grants tenants certain rights like the right to the return of a security deposit and the right to a habitable dwelling.

Landlords have rights too, including the right to collect rent and the right to be reimbursed for damages that exceed normal wear and tear.

Michigan Official Rules and Regulations

Security Deposits and Michigan Regulations

  • Standard Limit/Maximum Amount – 1.5 month’s rent
  • Time Limit for Returns – 30 days
  • Penalty if Not Returned on Time – Landlords who wrongfully withhold the security deposit will forfeit the deposit and may have to pay the full amount in damages.
  • Allowable Deductions – Missed rent, damages that exceed wear and tear.

Lease, Rent & Fees Under Michigan Law

  • Rent Is Due: As stated in the lease
  • Rent Increase Notice: No statute
  • Rent Grace Period: No statute
  • Late Fees: No statute
  • Prepaid Rent: No statute
  • Returned Check Fees: $25.00 if paid within seven days and $35 if paid within 30 days (§§ 600.2952(3)(a) and (b))
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): If an enforcement agency determines that conditions hazardous to health or safety exist within the premises, the tenant has not caused the conditions, and a reasonable amount of time has passed following notification to the landlord to make the necessary repairs, tenant may pay rent into an escrow account established by the agency, rather than to the landlord. The agency may pay escrow account funds to the landlord to defray the cost of correcting the violations, but the landlord must return unspent escrow funds in the event that the tenant moves out prior to the repairs being made. (§§ 125.530)
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: No statute, but tenant’s right to repair and deduct rent in Michigan was established in Rome v. Walker, 198 N.W.2d 458 (1972).
  • Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: The landlord can recover limited amounts. Leases cannot include any provision for recovering legal costs or attorney’s fees beyond whatis permitted by statute. (§§ 600.5759 and §§ 554.633(g))
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: No statute, but case law mandates that the landlord make an effort. (see Fox v. Roethlisberger, 85 N.W.2d 73 (Mich. 1957), Froling v. Bishoff, 252 N.W.2d 832 (Mich. Ct. App); Jefferson Development Company v Heritage Cleaners, 311 N.W.2d 426 (Mich. App. 1981))
  • Abandonment/Early Termination Fee: No statute

Evictions in Michigan

Landlords in Michigan may evict for the following reasons:

  1. Nonpayment of rent – If a tenant does not pay rent on the due date, then the landlord may provide a written 7-Day Notice to Pay or Quit. If they do not pay after 7 days then the landlord may start eviction proceedings.
  2. Lease violation – If a lease violation occurs then the landlord may issue a 30-Day Notice to Cure or Quit. If the behavior is not remedied in the timeframe, then the landlord can file a Summons and Eviction complaint.
  3. Illegal acts – If there is illegal activity on the property then the landlord may issue a 24-hour Notice to Quit. This eviction can be served due to a wide variety of illegal activities.

At-will tenants are entitled to at least 30 days’ advance notice before being evicted. Renters on a fixed-term basis may not be evicted before the end of the term. Landlords are also prohibited from evicting tenants as retaliation or for discriminatory reasons.

Notices and Entry Under Michigan Law

  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Year-to-Year Lease with No End Date: One year (§§ 554.134(3))
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: 30 days (§§ 554.134(1))
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: Seven days (§§ 554.134(1))
  • Notice of Termination for Nonpayment: Seven-day written notice (§§ 554.134(2))
  • Termination for Property Damage, Health Hazard, Physical Violence or Threat of Violence by Tenant: Seven-day written notice (§§ 600.5714)
  • Termination of Tenancy with 24 Hours Notice: 24-hours written notice to quit may be given if a tenant does not move out after a lease is terminated due to a termination-triggering lease violation for illegal drug-related activity on the leased premises. Landlord must first file a formal police report alleging the drug-related activity. (§§ 554.134(4))
  • Move-in/Move-Out Checklists: Required. Upon move-in, landlord must provide tenant with two copies of an inventory checklist that includes all items in the unit owned by the landlord. Within one week of move-in, tenant must review the checklist, note the condition of the property and return one copy to the landlord. Tenant is also entitled to a copy of the completed move-out checklist from the most recent tenant. Also, see the statute for required text and other details of the notice landlord must include on the checklist. (§§ 554.608)
  • Notice of Forwarding Address: If, within four days of move-out, tenant fails to notify landlord in writing of a new mailing address for the tenant, landlord is relieved from having to notify tenant of damages. (§§ 554.611) However, for the above provision to take effect, the landlord must have notified the tenant of the provision in writing within 14 days of move-in, otherwise, the tenant is not obligated to notify landlord of a forwarding mailing address. (§§ 554.603)
  • Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: Notice not required, but landlord must complete the move-out checklist at the end of the tenancy and list all damages claimed to have been caused by the tenant. (§§ 554.608)
  • Required Notice before Entry: No statute
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): Allowed only as necessary on a temporary basis to make needed repairs or for inspection as provided by law. Statute does not specify requirement for notice. (§§ 600.2918(3)(b))
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: No statute
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: No statute
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: A landlord who believes in good faith that a tenant has abandoned the premises and does not intend to return may enter only after diligent inquiry and only if rent has not been paid. (§§ 600.2918(3)(c))
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute
  • Lockouts Allowed: No (§§ 600.2918(2)(c & d))
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No (§§ 600.2918(2)(f))

Mandatory Disclosures in Michigan

Michigan landlords must make 3 mandatory disclosures to tenants:

  1. Lead-based paint. Landlords that own properties built before 1978 must provide information about concentrations of lead paint.
  2. Authorized against. Landlords must also provide the names and addresses of all parties involved in owning and managing the property.
  3. Truth in Renting Act. All leases in Michigan must abide by state-mandated language guidance as laid out in the Truth in Renting Act. More info can be found here.

Business Licenses

  • Landlords who manage their own property are not required to have a business license, however, third-party property managers must be licensed by the state. (Michigan State License Search: Landlord)

Helpful Links

State Agencies & Regulatory Bodies

Housing Authorities

    Realtor and Landlord/Tenant Associations

    These resources are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Landlords and Tenants are encouraged to seek specific legal advice for any of the issues as found in this blog.

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